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What Are Some Examples of Adapted Novels?

Pile of novels with glasses on top

At a Glance

Exploring novels with accommodations, visual novels, abridged novels, novels with modernized language, and supplemented novels.

Highlighting how each adaptation type addresses specific student challenges, from comprehension barriers to engaging with dated language.

Demonstrating the importance of adapted novels in making literature accessible and engaging for ALL students.

Welcome back to our adapted novel series, where in part 1 we explored how we would define an adapted novel and in part 2 we are going to take a closer look at some examples of adapted novels. 


Some adapted novels might focus on a specific type of accommodation, others might seek out a novel way to present the original story that may be easier to grasp for some people who don’t mesh well with the text as originally written. 


While there are many different types of adapted novels out there for many different purposes, we would also like to shamelessly plug our own collection and we will talk about some of the categories that our stories fall under as we explore. 


One thing worth remembering about adapted novels is that the adaptations are purpose built, and a given adaptation might not fall neatly into one category or another. As we emphasized in part 1, the adaptation that works for the student in question is the best adaptation! 


If there is a topic related to adapted novels that you’d like to see us cover or an adapted novel you’d like to see us release in the future then we would love to hear from you! Just drop us a line at hello@autismgrownup.com and we will dive into some examples of ways novels can be adapted!

Novels with Accommodations

Perhaps the most straightforward form of novel adaptation in concept is adapted novels with accommodations. If a student simply cannot engage with the original text due to a comprehension or sensory barrier then a novel with an accommodation built in can be among the first to come to mind. 


AdaptEd points out a variety of accommodations that can be applied to a novel including “moveable pieces, braille, communication visuals, or sentence strips.” One great advantage of applying accommodations to a text is that they can be highly individualized - i.e. if you are already creating visuals to adapt a novel for a student they can fit closely with a student’s individual needs, whereas a broader accommodation might help manage one particular barrier but do less to address areas like comprehension. 


The drawback to such modifications is that they can be more time and labor intensive depending on the novel, and may focus more on “translating” the words on the page rather than hone in on the literary experience of the novel itself. Whether or not customization or easier access to the big picture is more important can depend on the individual student and their needs!

Visual Novels (Digital Interactive Fiction)

When we talk about visual novels in terms of adaptations in theory that could include novels with pictures, but in practice the concept tends to go a little deeper than that. 


Per the Wikipedia page on visual novels, the term is often referring to digital interactive fiction and is all about experiencing the story with varying degrees of engagement with the actual written text. 


They could be considered video games, but they will feature varying degrees of interactivity from lots of puzzles and choice making to largely delivering the story in a digital format where the student can set the pace by choosing how to proceed. 


The upside of such a format is that it really emphasizes experiencing the story, but doesn’t always engage with the text in a way that may be desired in a classroom setting.

Abridged Novels

Abridged novels seek to simplify the text down to its more core components. Where some of the original intent and style of the author may be lost in this method, it can also make it easier to approach and digest dense texts in a reasonable timeframe and can even be used as a supplement to unabridged texts as a helpful guardrail when readers get lost or confused. 


Another great reason to look for abridged novels is to explore wider catalogs of authors without having to do a deep dive into every work. It can be a nice compromise between engaging with the text and making sure that the greater story is not lost in the language.

Novels with Modernized Language

Speaking of approaches to language, some novels are not just dense but written in a way that is rather hard to comprehend without considerable study by modern readers. For students who are working on reading comprehension skills in general, sometimes the extra step of old fashioned inscrutable language can be just too much! 


Whereas an abridged novel might actively simplify the text, a novel with modernized language may still try to capture the original nuance of the text but in a wording that doesn’t require an additional layer of interpretation on the reader’s part. 


Shakespeare is a classic example of popular reading that can quite simply be incomprehensible without some additional learning about the way language was used in the author’s time. If your goal is to interpret a story and not worry too much about the challenges of language then a modernized novel might be just right for you! 

Supplemented Novels

This is the category where we are placing our own books and is the term we are using to describe novels that have a variety of added tools and activities build in to boost engagements. 


There is some overlap with visual novels, models with accommodations, and visual novels in that these adaptations include pictures, modes of interaction, and its supplements could help to accommodate someone facing comprehension challenges. 


In the case of our novels, supplements like character cards, consistency across setting, comprehension questions, and different levels of text complexity can help to meet a variety of student needs without necessarily feeling like a requirement for all students to use. 


If you are interested in a reading experience that includes text but hones in on the experience of the story and its themes, then supplemented novels may be just right for you and your students!

Conclusion

Of course this is just a brief rundown of the many types of adaptations that could exist, and new adaptations can be created all the time to meet new needs as they arise. 


If you’d like to share a type of adapted novel you think is especially important or just have a question about one of the kinds we’ve talked about in this post we’d love to hear from you! 


Just drop us a line at hello@autismgrownup.com and we will be bac next week to talk about benefits and goals associated with using adapted novels in the classroom.

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Previous article Benefits and Goal Setting with Adapted Novels
Next article What is an Adapted Novel?

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