Parents' Guide to

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

By Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Intense, stellar adaptation of classic sci-fi/fantasy novel.

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 13+

A difficult thought-experiment, but necessary

The history of the U.S. has left Black and white people intertwined in ways that this novel makes clear through several cleverly and wisely constructed devices. Some might reduce this to animosity between Black and white, but Butler is more subtle than that. This raises stark questions -- How does the slavery era ripple through to today? Can we talk about the slave era without talking about nonconsensual sex (think about Thomas Jefferson)? High school students, especially with the guidance of a teacher, can consider this history, especially through the engaging context that Butler constructs. Re the rating "families should know": there is violence, but not "too much violence." The violence is entirely fitting given the subject matter: American slavery.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 15+

Excellent book that explores the harsh realities of slavery

Octavia Butler is a genius at translating the harsh realities of slavery for a modern audience. Yes, there are some mature things in this book, so I would only recommend this book for sophomores, juniors, or seniors in high school. However, kids need to learn about and understand those terrifying and dark aspects of US history.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3):
Kids say: Not yet rated

In this dead-on retelling of Octavia E. Butler's 1979 sci-fi novel, which is intense, heart-stopping, thought-provoking, and powerful, Damian Duffy boils Butler's work down to 240 pages while not losing any of the strife, terror, ambiguity, and movement of the original. It's tough to take on a widely acclaimed and deeply loved work, and Duffy has done it splendidly, making the story come alive in a different art form.

Illustrator John Jennings brings intricate, layered, and at times deliberately heavy, dazed, and frazzled-feeling illustrations to Butler's work, allowing readers another deeply emotional connection to the story and Dana's experiences. Jennings' art increases the intensity for readers. Some passages feel like a gut punch to the soul. There's much to unpack in the story: Duffy's adaptation, Jennings' use of color, and the science-fiction, Afrofuturistic, feminist, and racial aspects of the book. Duffy and Jennings have opened a new generation's eyes to Butler's work while encouraging Butler's fans to experience the story in a whole new way. The strong themes make this a book geared toward high school teens, and its stunning graphic novel presentation makes it perfect to tempt reluctant readers as well.

Book Details

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