Adapted Classics Blog

Fans of Adam – Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam

Fans of Adam might dislike ArtWrite Productions, the publisher of the Adapted Classics book, “Mark Twain’s the Diaries of Eve and Adam”. The reason? The publisher decided to place Eve’s name before Adam’s in the title of the book. This upsets tradition, fans of Adam might say, and you do not upset tradition to appease women or to appeal to them for financial gain (women do buy more books than men, and men almost never buy books for their children). Well, fans of Adam, do you want to know what lake you can jump into? How about the first lake[…] Read More

Eve Illustrated – Literature with Beautiful Curves

As suggested in “Mark Twain’s Diaries of Eve and Adam”, and as illustrated by Marc Johnson-Pencook, Eve has beautiful curves. She is lithe, slender, trim, rounded, shapely, nimble, and graceful. Adam looks like a derrick, or maybe architecture. Eve, standing on a rock, head tilted back, watching the flight of a bird in the sky, is beautiful. Adam resembles a reptile. It’s no surprise that Twain made Eve more physically attractive than Adam. I suppose he could have written a completely farcical story about the first human creatures and made them much different than readers would expect. Instead, he stuck[…] Read More

Middle School Students – Learning by Talking

When middle schools students discuss the meaning of literature under the direction and supervision of a teacher, they are learning by talking. Classroom discussions about the meaning of stories help middle school students develop new ideas, organize and clarify their thoughts, and express them verbally. Besides these lessons in mental and communication skills, classroom discussions about literature also help middle school students learn valuable life lessons. Quality literature can carry an abundance of such lessons. The trouble is, most of the skills middle school students learn by talking about the meaning of literature cannot be quantified. Middle school students might[…] Read More

Illustrated Classic Literature for middle schoolers?

Can you imagine a parent rejecting the purchase or loan of a book of illustrated classic literature for their middle school reader because picture books are for little kids? You should be able to imagine this because it probably happens all the time. Major book publishers and booksellers have seen sales of illustrated books slump during the past couple of decades. They speculate parents are responsible for the decline in sales. They think parents point kids to chapter books early on because they want their kids to rapidly advance, excel in school, and eventually succeed as adults in a highly[…] Read More

Nathaniel Hawthorne – A Serious Man and a Funny Guy

Did you know Nathaniel Hawthorne was both a serious man and a funny guy. Many people who think of him as nothing but a great moralist should read “Mr. Higginbotham’s Catastrophe”. Hawthorne told it in a light, humorous vein, and he didn’t use it to deliver a great moral message. But as for serious—well, this story is…seriously funny. And seriously sweet! Unusual though this story is coming from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, a contemporary of Hawthorne and a renowned literary critic, praised “Mr. Higginbotham’s Catastrophe”. He described it as “vividly original and dexterously managed”. Other critics have favorably compared[…] Read More

Mark Twain’s Eve and Adam – Gender Stereotypes?

When Mark Twain developed the characters Eve and Adam in his creation stories, did he rely upon and perpetuate gender stereotypes? Although most of the people who have read and reviewed “Eve’s Diary” like the story, some readers found fault with Twain’s portrayal of Eve, especially after she began taking an interest in Adam. Twain took on a daunting task when he decided to fictionalize the story of creation. He must have known his characterizations of Eve and Adam, the very first human creatures, would be seen as archetypes for all succeeding generations of both genders of humans. Confidants of[…] Read More

Middle-grade lesson plan – Poe’s Hop-Frog would make a good fit

I imagine Edgar Allan Poe’s Hop-Frog would fit well in some middle-grade lesson plan. I can only imagine, however. Today’s lesson plans are probably tied closely to education standards and achievement tests. I am not a teacher, and I do not know enough about the teaching vocation to speak authoritatively about standards or testing. Still, if teachers have the flexibility to use literature to stir classroom discussion, ‘Poe’s Hop-Frog’ has much going for it as a vehicle for that. I discussed objections to exposing middle-grade readers to ‘Hop-Frog’ in two earlier posts. To reiterate, just because Hop-Frog, a very sympathetic[…] Read More

Adapting Eve & Adam – Intentions and Principles

Issues regarding intentions and principles loomed while adapting “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam”. I was concerned that Eve’s character could change if I added new material to combine two separate stories by Twain. But I gave myself leeway to add material because I had no intention to change Eve’s character. Heck, I would not intentionally change any aspect of any character created by Mark Twain. My sole motive in adding new material when combining his two stories was to keep dialogue going between Eve and Adam from beginning to end. I tried to keep Eve’s character in line with[…] Read More

Mark Twain’s Goal – Bringing Eve & Adam Together

Mark Twain wanted to bring Eve and Adam together, but his goal went unrealized until after his death. Twain wanted to unite his “creation stories” so that Eve and Adam’s different perspectives on creation would stand in high contrast. As Twain said, “They score points against each other — so, if not bound together, some of the points would not be perceived.” In 1931, 21 years after Mark Twain died, Harper finally brought the stories together by publishing a book titled “The Private Life of Adam and Eve”. Mark Twain was a writer at ease with organizing and presenting his ideas. He[…] Read More

Adapted Classics “Hop-Frog” rated ideal format for Middle-Grade Readers

Midwest Book Review (MBR) thinks we adapted “Edgar Allan Poe’s Hop-Frog” into an ideal format for middle grade readers. In their opinion. the lightly modified text and the striking black-and-white illustrations are two reasons why “Hop-Frog” is an excellent tool to introduce young people to the amazing world of classic literature. We greatly value their opinion. Midwest Book Review is an on-line book review magazine well-respected in the book trade. They selectively review books by small publishers and independent authors. Small players in the book trade, such as ourselves, seek reviews from MBR since almost all review journals will only[…] Read More

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