Anthropomorphism: a literary device, typically attributing human characteristics to non-human animals or non-living things
This popular literary device is seen in many tween novels and manga adaptations, in which animals display human characteristics. Two wonderful examples of this is the Redwall series by Brian Jacques and the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. Both of these series have recently been adapted into a graphic novel format suitable for tweens.
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Tokyopop (April 24, 2007)
Meet Graystripe, a lost warrior of the Thunderclan, who finds himself trapped in a human’s house, being treated as a ‘kittypet’. A warrior at heart, Graystripe despises his new surroundings and yearns to find his way home. Our protagonist feline friend must discover himself, remembering his past and understanding his present, and through the aid of a neighborhood cat named Millie, tries to find his way back to the Thunderclan.
A great introduction to manga adaptation, The Lost Warrior is a short but engaging fantasy read. Just under 100 pages, this graphic novel adaptation of Erin Hunter’s Warriors series is perfect for a beginning to read ‘tween’ manga reader.
By Brian Jacques
Illustrated by Bret Blevins
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 148 pages
Publisher: Philomel (October 4, 2007)
Villians beware, there is a new hero in town! When a vicious rat called Cluny the Scourge begins to terrify Redwall Abbey, a young mouse named Matthias must step into action. In order to save Redwall, Matthias must summon the courage and bravery, as well as the sword, of legendary Martin the Warrior. Fast-paced and full of interesting characters, like Chickenhound the fox and Cornflower the fieldmouse, the Redwall graphic novel captures the essence of the novel series without leaving too much out. While the story is somewhat condensed, the adventurous spirit of Redwall is still very much captured. Bret Blevins chooses to portray the novel in black and white, creating the convincingly magical world of Redwall and its characters.
This graphic novel adaptation is recommended for ages 9-12, with School Library Journal recommending the novel for grades 4 & up. Since the Redwall book series is targeted at an slightly older, Young Adult audience, the graphic novel adaptation, much like the Warriors series, serves as a great introduction for tweens. A tween does not have not to read the Redwall book series to enjoy this graphic novel adaptation.