Lee, Tony. 2009. OUTLAW: THE LEGEND OF ROBIN HOOD. Ill. by Sam Hart. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick. ISBN 9780763643997 [Suggested Grade Levels 7- 12]
Everyone knows the story of the man who robbed from the rich to give to the poor, all while wooing the lovely Maid Marian. But how did he become an outlaw? What motivated him to become England’s best archer? In this graphic novel telling of the classic story of Robin Hood, the legend is given a full back story complete with father-son conflict and a sense of justice rooted in a childhood experience. Dark and angular illustrations lend a grittiness that the likes of Disney and Errol Flynn have missed in past interpretations of this story. Monochromatic color palates also lend mood to the story, with the Sheriff usually appearing in dark blues and grays and Robin’s men in green and gold.
The story itself is comfortingly familiar, but the value of this book is in the accomplishment of bringing a classic and sometimes over-done story to a new audience in the graphic novel format. This new interpretation of the legend is well executed and thoroughly enjoyable.
As a group, discuss the idea of a legend and compare it to this account of Robin Hood. How does this version show Robin as a realistic character and how does it perpetuate the idea of him as larger than life? Consider taking other well known, legendary characters and write or draw a realistic back story for them.
Other classic tales retold in graphic novel format:
Edginton, Ian. THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES: A SHERLOCK HOLMES GRAPHIC NOVEL. ISBN 9781402770005
Macdonald, Fiona. DRACULA. ISBN 9780764137785
Wiegle, Matt. ROMEO AND JULIET. ISBN 9781411498747
By Cecily Ponce de Leon