In Honor of Its 150th Anniversary, Little Women Is Getting a Graphic Novel

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel Little Women is a moving story of four sisters—Meg, Joe, Beth, and Amy—growing up during the Civil War. The popular story inspired many adaptations, including movies, musicals, operas and children’s books. Now, to celebrate 150 years of the March sisters, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has partnered with Tapas Media to give the beloved story a modern and more inclusive update.

The 500-plus page book, originally published in 1868, is getting the graphic novel treatment. Written by Ray Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers hopes a new generation of kids will embrace this story, which is why they chose to partner with Tapas, a digital comic and graphic novels platform.

“Our whole world is changing in terms of where people find content, and creating a bridge between digital and print is a smart next step,” Senior Editor Rex Ogle said in a press release. “Tapas had a whole pool of diverse and innovative talent, writers and artists who grew up with digital, and so considered it the best place to put out their stories.”

Both Terciero and Indigo grew up with the story and were excited to make their universal themes even more accessible by making certain character choices (Jo is now openly LGBTQ), moving the sisters to Brooklyn, and making the March family multiracial with a father in the U.S. armed forces.

“Being LGBT myself, I’m just happy to be creating a book that I wish I could have read as a young reader,” Terciero said. “But it’s also very PG, and very sweet. I wanted to be sensitive with the heavy topics while staying true to Alcott’s vision of empowering young women.”

The other significant update? The graphic novel is serialized, and will be released bit by bit through October. “Episodes” of the story will be released weekly on the Tapas platform (two are ready to read right now!), but those who prefer to read it at once will have to wait until November when it will be published as an eBook and paperback.

BBC and PBS are also taking on the March sisters this year, with a new two part miniseries airing in the US on Mother’s Day, May 13.