I have always remembered a story I read in primary school about Robert Louis Stevenson’s childhood. Living in the damp Scottish climate and being susceptible to bronchitis, he spent long periods of time confined to his bed. He would pretend that the bed spread was the countryside, lift up his knees under the covers to create mountain ranges and valleys, imagine battles and make up stories to tell his nurse.
I have seen film adaptations of some of his novels but I have never got around to reading his books. So I was really pleased to discover that the Library now has Kidnapped in graphic novel through Marvel comics.
It’s an exciting way to introduce readers of all ages to Stevenson’s works. Set in 18th century Scotland, young David Balfour makes the journey to meet his elderly uncle Ebenezer, following the death of his father. With the aim of stealing his inheritance, avaricious, wicked Ebenezer sells Davey into slavery and the adventure begins.
Davey is forced to fight for his life and freedom when he meets the legendary Alan Breck Stewart onboard ship. He unwittingly becomes caught up in the Jacobite cause and flees from English patrols across the highlands with Stewart, in order to reach his home and recover his inheritance.
I was impressed that Roy Thomas provides readers with a good historical background about the real life Alan Breck Stewart and the Jacobite cause and rebellion. The graphic novel also features a glossary of Scottish terms and information about Stevenson’s life and writing. Illustrations are colourful, emotive and dynamic.
You can also read Stevenson’s other classics, Treasure Island and The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in graphic novel at the City of Tea Tree Gully Library.