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Adapted Classics Blog

The first person opening of “Thou Art the Man”

The first person opening of Edgar Allan Poe’s Thou Art the Man had to go, so we went ahead and cut it. We promised an excuse for this in our last blog. Here you have it: We did it for our audience. We adapt classic short stories primarily for modern, middle school readers, by adding illustrations. But we also slightly modify the narratives. We do both for the sake of the audience, especially for the youngest segment of our readers. And we do some of it because they, and we, are modern. Language, both vocabulary and the written ordering of[…] Read More

Edgar Allan Poe’s Viewpoint

Edgar Allan Poe’s viewpoint is predictable. He almost always uses a first-person narrator to tell his stories. However, only one of the three stories we collected for Poe Illustrated uses the first-person point-of view in the way Poe typically did.  A visitor to an insane asylum tells the story in System Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether. He knows all that happened during his visit because he lived it. He also expresses his own opinions and knowledge about the asylum before, during, and after his visit. Poe uses this first-person style of story-telling regularly, especially in his tales of terror.  In[…] Read More

Accessible Classic Literature for Middle-School

Accessible classic literature for middle-school readers? Soon, Poe Illustrated will fill that bill. We have this Edgar Allan Poe collection of stories in pre-production right now. We plan to publish in April 2021. It will include three illustrated Poe stories – our previously published Thou Art the Man and Hop-Frog, plus a new Adapted Classics title – The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether. We know that many middle school students enjoy reading classic literature just as originally written and presented. But we also know that many middle school students would never choose to read this type of fiction[…] Read More

Mark Twain is Running for Governor

Mark Twain is Running for Governor. But that’s fake news. Or just plain fiction, to use a more accurate term. For among other things, Mark Twain wrote political satire. Our latest story celebrates this brand of Twain humor during our 2020 election season. Twain wrote Running for Governor for his monthly column in The Galaxy, a literary magazine. He portrayed his fictional candidacy for Governor to be hopeless, just as if he had actually campaigned for the position. He knew that both major party candidates were generating newspaper propaganda in the New York election of 1870. And he knew those lies would doom any honest, independent candidate to defeat. Fake[…] Read More

Free Illustrated ePub – Twain’s Running for Governor

Free Illustrated ePub—Mark Twain’s Running for Governor. Take a trip back to 1870 with Twain and master illustrator Marc Johnson-Pencook. Twain and Marc describe and illustrate how a deluge of fake news swamps Twain’s spirit and chances during his campaign for Governor of New York. This campaign technique sounds seriously familiar, doesn’t it? And yet, Twain’s story and Marc’s illustrations will likely amuse you. So go ahead. Get your free illustrated ePub until the US 2020 presidential election is decided. You can use a few laughs during this bizarre and frightening election season. After all, unlike our 2020 presidential election, Mark Twain’s campaign isn’t real. Or so people say. 

Election Propaganda? Mark Twain is Running!

Election Propaganda? What’s new? Until the US 2020 presidential election is decided, we are posting a free download of Mark Twain’s Running for Governor on our home page. So go ahead. Take a trip back to 1870 with Twain and master illustrator Marc Johnson-Pencook. You can use a few laughs during this bizarre and frightening election season. Twain and Marc describe and illustrate how a deluge of fake news swamps Twain’s spirit and chances during his campaign for Governor of New York. This election campaign technique sounds seriously familiar, doesn’t it? And yet, Twain’s story and Marc’s illustrations will likely amuse you. After all, unlike[…] Read More

FollettBound! Classics Deserve Protection!

FollettBound! Because classics deserve protection! These special bindings carry a Lifetime-Guarantee! What better partner for the timeless, illustrated classic stories we publish? Adapted Classics declares it’s a perfect match. And why? We adapt our illustrated classics for middle school readers. They are not known to be the easiest handlers of books, are they? Follett School Solutions and Baker and Taylor have schools and libraries covered. They provide a lifetime guarantee for all of their FollettBound books – if the binding fails, they’ll replace the book. Replacement, check! But that’s not enough. For when librarians and school administrators go shopping for middle schoolers, they look for[…] Read More

A Free-for-All Election, no-holds-barred

A free-for-all election, no-holds-barred, can be fun. But not unless someone like Mark Twain’s Running for Governor. Pretend with him that he is, and just forget the obstacles he encounters are so much like 2020 reality. Get past that kind of comparing and you’ve got it made. You can enjoy Twain’s humorous political tale, and immensely! Mark Twain’s Running for Governor will eventually be collected with two more Twain stories in an Adapted Classics book entitled Twain Illustrated. But we could not resist sharing a free, special edition of this story during the 2020 election season. Twain hilariously describes his run for[…] Read More

Feathertop-Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Last Story

Feathertop was the last story Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote. Most literary critics do not rank it with his best. They usually find the story too far-fetched and its moral message too obvious. Both these criticisms may be valid, but it’ s also very difficult to please literary critics. Did they overlook Feathertop’s entertainment value? Mother Rigby certainly makes her disdain for human phoniness very obvious, but she does so with humorous digs and disses that have held up very well over time.  And when Feathertop gains self-awareness, when he realizes he is but a scarecrow stuffed with straw, his surrender to[…] Read More

The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether

The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether shows Edgar Allan Poe’s dark sense of humor to great effect. We will include it in Poe Illustrated, our collection of three illustrated stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Poe wrote The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether in 1845.  About 50 years prior to that, French doctor Phillipe Penel had devised a gentle system for treating mentally ill patients. Poe created a similar ’soothing’ system for treating patients in the House of Health, the asylum setting for this humorous, yet controversial story. Despite Penel’s well-publicized innovation, harsh treatment of mental patients persisted in asylums world-wide. Maybe Poe was trying to promote Penel’s gentle methods when he wrote his story. Or perhaps not. To this day scholars who analyze literature or try to[…] Read More

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