Connecting Readers to the Classics through Transmedia Storytelling

You’ve probably noticed how effective the book-to-movie trend is at connecting people to popular fiction–and sometimes classics such as The Hobbit. This cross-media approach, which has really morphed into transmedia entertainment franchises (e.g., Game of ThronesStar Wars) in Hollywood is a great reading promotion tool for librarians.

But, transmedia storytelling is more than just a Hollywood thing–it’s quickly become an indie thing, thanks to the proliferation of easy-to-use digital creation and social media tools. And many of these indie transmedia storytelling projects provide librarians (and teachers) with fantastic opportunities to connect readers to classic literature, of all things. For example:

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Also, check out Ever, Jane–a role-playing game based on the world of Jane Austen.

For those who prefer Charlotte Bronte, The Autobiography of Jane Eyre is a modern adaptation of the story.

Want to introduce readers to the wonderful world of Anne of Green Gables? Check out Green Gables Fables.

Frankenstein MD offers an imaginative retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

A Tell Tale Vlog is sure to turn readers into Edgar Allen Poe fans.

These are just a sampling of the transmedia projects out there that have turned classic literature on its head. And they are just waiting for librarians and teachers to discover them and use them as tools to connect their readers to some of the greatest literature ever written!

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