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Thoreau at Walden

by Henry David Thoreau
Illustrated by John Porcellino

Published by Hyperion, 2008
112 pages
ISBN: 978-1423100386

Ages 10-15

A graphic novel uses Thoreau's own words to recount the time he spent at Walden. It begins with his decision to live off the land, and shows him writing, thinking, observing, and working the land. It also shows people who stopped by to visit him (he was something of a local tourist attraction in his day) and the night he spent in jail for refusing to pay his poll tax, and event that led to his famous essay "Civil Disobedience." Porcellino uses direct quotes from four sources: Walden, "Civil Disobedience," "Walking," and Thoreau's journal. There are also several instances of consecutive wordless panels which show the long periods of silence Thoreau enjoyed. In his author's note, Porcellino remarks that one of the advantages of graphic novels is that this can be shown in a way it can't be in textual narrative. The selection and arrangement of quotations, all meticulously documented, are superb and offer great insight into Thoreau and his writing. (KTH) ©2008 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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