Shakespeare for All Ages

Romance. Murder. Magic. Intrigue. There’s something for everyone in the works of William Shakespeare! All of Shakespeare’s original plays and sonnets are available on Hoopla and Libby/Overdrive, the library’s e-content services.  If you’re looking for something more current, consider one of the many books inspired by the life and work of the Bard. Here’s a selection of Shakespeare-inspired fiction and nonfiction for readers of every age. 

Classic Story Collections
These collections provide an introduction to Shakespeare and are a fun family read aloud.

Shakespeare Retold by E. Nesbit (Grades 3-6) Seven illustrated retellings of Shakespeare’s plays written in the late 1800s by a prominent English author of children’s books. (Hoopla)

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb (Grades 4-8) One of the first Shakespeare collections for children. Available as a free ebook from Project Gutenberg.

For Kids…
Romeow and Drooliet by Nina Laden (Picture book. Grades 1-3) A spoof in which cats and dogs are the feuding families and things work out fine.  (Hoopla)

Who Was William Shakespeare? by Celeste Mannis (Biography. Grades 3-6) One of the books in the popular Who Was series. (Libby/Overdrive)

Will’s Words: How William Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk by Jane Sutcliffe (Nonfiction. Grades 3-6) A beautifully illustrated history of Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre featuring some of the now common words Shakespeare invented. (Hoopla)SecretsCover

The Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave by Deron Hicks (Mystery. Grades 4-6) Cousins must uncover family secrets related to William Shakespeare to save the family business. (Hoopla)

Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach (Mystery. Grades 5-7) Hero, the daughter of a Shakespearian scholar, navigates sixth grade while attempting to solve a mystery that dates back to the Elizabethan Age. (Libby/Overdrive)

The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt (Humor, Historical Fiction. Grades 5-7)
Holling is convinced his teacher is using Shakepeare to torture him when he ends up being the only student in her Wednesday afternoon class. (Libby/Overdrive)

For Teens…
Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth (Fantasy. grades 7+) Emma deals with backstage romance and technical difficulties in two different centuries when she is transported back in time to Shakespeare’s England. (Libby/Overdrive)

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher (Star Wars Fans, Grades 5-99) The OpheliaCoverStar Wars Saga retold in Shakespearean verse. (Libby/Overdrive)

Ophelia by Lisa Klein (Historical Fiction. Grades 7+) A retelling of Hamlet through the eyes of a stronger, more rebellious Ophelia. (Libby/Overdrive)

The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper (Contemporary Fiction. Grades 7+) A romantic comedy set in Italy, full of Shakespearean references. (Hoopla)

Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors (Fantasy. grades 7+) Mimi is not happy to be acting in Romeo and Juliet. When a time traveling charm transports her to ancient Verona, she is determined to change Juliet’s fate. (Libby/Overdrive)

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (Fantasy grades 7+) An aspiring actress lands a role in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and discovers that the world of Faerie is real. (audio: Hoopla, ebook: Libby/Overdrive)

Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine (Historical Fiction. Grades 9+) A retelling of Romeo and Juliet from the perspective of Romeo’s cousin Benvolio, who has his own problems with star-crossed love. (audio: Hoopla, ebook: Libby/Overdrive)

Prince of Cats by Ron Wimberly (Graphic Novel, Grades 9+) A hip-hop Romeo and Juliet set in 1980s Brookly, soon to be a movie directed by Spike Lee. (Hoopla)

For Adults…
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (Contemporary Fiction) A modern reimagining of The Tempest by the author of The Handmaid’s Tale. (Libby/Overdrive)

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown (Contemporary Fiction) Three estranged daughters of an eccentric Shakespeare scholar return home to face a family crisis. (Libby/Overdrive)

Shakespeare by Bill Bryson (Nonfiction) Bryson uses humor and scholarship to examine the life and times of the Bard. (Hoopla and Libby/Overdrive…but no waiting in Hoopla!)

Juliet by Anne Fortier (Historical Fiction) The past and present intertwine when a modern dramatist explores her ties to the Italian families whose feud inspired Romeo and Juliet. (Libby/Overdrive)

Shylock Is My Name by Howard Jacobson (Contemporary Fiction) Man Booker Prize-winner Howard Jacobson reimagines The Merchant of Venice. (Libby/Overdrive)

Shakespeare for Squirrels by Christopher Moore (Mystery/Humor) A hilarious mashup of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a noir detective novel. (Libby/Overdrive Fool, the first Shakespeare inspired work by Moore, is available on Hoopla.)

Station Eleven by Emily St. Mandel (Science Fiction) Shortlisted for the National Book Award and winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award. A roaming troupe of actors bring humanity and beauty to the post-apocalyptic midwest. (Libby/Overdrive)

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (Contemporary Fiction) A reimagining of The Taming of the Shrew by Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler. (Libby/Overdrive)

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (Contemporary Fiction) A best selling family saga based on Hamlet (Libby/Overdrive, Hoopla)

~Karen deWilde, Teen Librarian

 

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