Lucas and I were asked to read and review a new take on an old classic.
Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Updated for a younger audience, specifically a middle grade audience.
remember the story?
Doctor Heidegger has invited four old friends to his study. He needs their help with an experiment. His friends presume the experiment will be nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps they will inspect a cobweb under a microscope or witness the slow death of a mouse. But when Dr. Heidegger's guests gather around a small black table that holds a cut-glass vase, strange things begin to happen that will change their lives, or so it seems.
Enlivened and enriched by Marc Johnson-Pencook's amazing pen and ink illustrations, this adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic story will introduce middle readers to one of America's greatest authors.
All I can say is "well done" Jerome and Marc. Having kids eager to read the classics is a challenge. It certainly helps making the wording easier for the kids to understand. When I received my copy of DR HEIDEGGER'S EXPERIMENT in the mail, I was curious as to how Hawthorne could be interesting to a younger audience. Well, you've pulled it off. Both my son and I read the book, enjoyed the story and laughed at the illustrations.
One of my son's favorite pictures is the young woman looking into a mirror. She see's a young woman, but we see the same old crone that entered the Dr's home. My son's response to the illustration--Mirror's cannot lie. Funny how the power of suggestion can make her think she's young again!
He's taken the book to school to show his English/Reading teacher!
Jerome Tiller lives in Fridley, Minnesota. He is co-owner of ArtWrite Productions, a publishing company bent on making education and reading more pleasurable for youth. Adapted Classics, an imprint of ArtWrite Productions, uses fine-art illustrations to introduce classic stories to young readers.
You can learn more about Adapted Classics at
Marc Johnson-Pencook is an illustrator, animator, and muralist. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His illustrations appear in books, periodicals, gallery shows and private collections, and his murals adorn many walls and ceilings in public places and private spaces in the Twin Cities and beyond. He also teaches illustration at the Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art in Minneapolis and the Art Academy in St. Paul. In addition, Marc composes and performs rock music- he currently plays percussion for "The Dig-Its"- a retro-rock group based in Minneapolis. Marc can be contacted at