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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Graphic Novel Version of Darwin's Origin of Species

Keller, Michael;  Fuller, Nicole Rager  (2009) Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation  New York:  Rodale

     I haven't been able to tell if this book contains the whole text of Origin of the Species but I can tell you it contains a lot of it, in the original form.  Normally, this would be a daunting book for a high school student to try to take on -- with difficult vocabulary and lengthy and complicated sentences.  However, the graphic novel version provides support in understanding through the images. 

Although Keller and Fuller don't take full advantage of what the graphic novel format can do (for example, most panel to panel transitions move to a completely different subject, instead of using moment-to-moment transition to engage the reader more in the story), and although the art is certainly competent but not spectacularly engaging, nonetheless, it is an engaging book that should help high school science students connect to what Darwin was trying to say.  The artist clearly understands what Darwin is saying and illustrates the concepts well.  .

There were times when I was reading the book that I could not tell if I was reading Darwin's words of the author's.  This was not a huge problem, but I wish it had been clearer.

These, however, are small problems.  If you teach science and want a good way to connect your readers with a fuller understanding of natural selection, this book would be a good one to have in your classroom.  . 

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