The adventures of Wirt and Greg within the dark, mysterious world of The Unknown continue with this newest installment in the graphic novel adaptation of the Cartoon Network mini-series Over the Garden Wall. In Over the Garden Wall: Benevolent Sisters of Charity, written by Sam Johns and illustrated by Jim Campbell, readers will enjoy a new tale of mystery with comical and strange characters and detailed landscapes. Devoted fans and readers will recognize the familial love and protection the characters possess and the strange world they have wandered into.

As they continue on their journey home, Wirt, Greg, bluebird Beatrice, and Greg’s frog stumble upon a woodland hospital run by the Benevolent Sisters of Charity. For Wirt, it’s a dream come true. The poor boy needs some TLC after taking care of his brother and catching a little cold. But for the rest of the group, it becomes a bit of an annoyance. While Beatrice and frog are stuck in an old smelly barn with a sick dog, Greg becomes bored with the constant herbal therapies and pampering from the sisters. As the day winds down to a close, the group becomes suspicious of the sisters’ actions, especially when their care becomes too much to handle.

The charm of the original cartoon series continues in this newest graphic novel. You have the innocence of Greg, the strange behavior of the residential caretakers, the detailed autumn landscape of The Unknown, and the loving bond between the two brothers and their animal companions. Sam Johns’s story is both touching and mysterious, reminding devoted fans and readers the importance of self-care and listening to others when they lend their voice. Jim Campbell uses a pallet of earthen colors for the woodland landscape and bright colors within the hospital’s setting. Montages of the sisters’ care are depicted in small panels, allowing the reader to focus on the character’s actions. The combined character actions and dialogue work very well together, keeping the reader’s attention and allowing the story to flow from one scene to the next. When the story is all said and done, Greg breaks the fourth wall and talks to the readers about old school medical care (leeches, humors, etc.) and is reminded by Wirt that not everything on the internet is reliable when it comes to medical advice and self-care.

Fans of the original mini-series and readers of the graphic novels will definitely enjoy this newest installment of Over the Garden Wall. Public and school libraries will want to add this title to their collection, especially if they have other titles within the series. Young readers in 3rd to 6th grade who enjoy mysteries and dark fantasy will want to give this title a try, as well as the rest of the series.

Over the Garden Wall: Benevolent Sisters of Charity
By Sam Johns
Art by Jim Campbell
ISBN: 9781684156207
Kaboom, 2020
Publisher Age Rating: 9 – 12
Series ISBNS and Order

Title Details and Representation
NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11)
Related to…: TV to Comic

  • Gloria

    | She/Her Children's Librarian, Elmont Memorial Library

    Gloria is a full-time children’s librarian at the Elmont Memorial Library in Long Island, New York where she runs a monthly STEAM program, a graphic novel book club, and storytime for preschoolers. During her free time, she is found reading anything and everything from the classics, to poetry, to the newest best seller. Her other interests include writing, online games, exploring new areas in her home state, and spending time with friends, family, and colleagues. She has also written articles and reviews for the website Cosplay, Comics, and Geek Culture in Libraries and on her personal Goodreads page.

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