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|Charlotte Bronte before Jane Eyre|
Author: Fawkes, Glynnis
A graphic novel biography of Charlotte Bronte, following her and her siblings from childhood to the publication of Jane Eyre.
Kirkus Reviews (06/01/19)
School Library Journal (09/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/19)
The Hornbook (00/11/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2019 Before she wrote Jane Eyre, one of the world’s best-known novels and one that’s never been out of print since its 1847 publication, Charlotte Brontë wrote another novel, The Professor, that was roundly rejected by publishers. Before that, she was a teacher at a boarding school; before that, she had attended boarding schools herself, and lost sisters to their poor conditions. She spent her early life with her five siblings, wandering the remote moors of England, playing fanciful games, and writing stories and poems with her sisters. In moody, cool-toned illustrations, Fawkes’ graphic biography measures out Charlotte’s early life, making its way through a childhood peppered with tragedies and an early adulthood met with rejection and roadblocks. Sharp-faced, sharp-tongued Charlotte shines through, easily distinguishable in the art. Her voice, too, comes through clearly; Fawkes writes in an author’s note that she incorporated many of Charlotte’s own words, taken from letters and writing, into the dialogue. A panel discussion afterward helps readers parse fact from invention and glimpse behind the scenes of this inventive biography. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2019 Gr 7 Up—This graphic work about the author of Jane Eyre captures Charlotte Brontë's spirit, talent, and drive. Fawkes not only focuses on her subject's harsh life but also highlights the moments of joy and pure imagination abundant in the famous literary family's early days. While Emily, Anne, and Branwell make many appearances, Charlotte's siblings are featured mostly as points of comparison. Fawkes emphasizes the aspects of Brontë's life that are reflected in her most famous work. In her author's note, Fawkes explains that she tried to use quotes from primary sources, including Brontë's surviving letters and writings, in the text, but admits to inventing many of the conversations. Keeping true to Brontë's spirit, the narrative is filled with wit and personality. Equal parts dark and light, the two-tone illustrations mirror the gloomy settings that the Brontës inhabited, from the dramatic but unforgiving moors to the stark and bleak schools where their older sisters died. These panels are just as necessary for the characters' development as the sharp dialogue and text. The appendix further elaborates on the figures, objects, and factual events featured in the art. VERDICT A wonderful peek into the early life of one of the most celebrated literary figures of the Western world. Libraries that serve middle and high schoolers will want to add this work to their collections.—Shelley M. Diaz, BookOps: The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.