Romeo and Juliet Together (and Alive!) At Last
What’s this book about?
The eighth grade’s plan to get two reluctant “lovers” together by means of a classroom production of Shakespeare’s play has some very unexpected results.
Story Behind the Story
When my older boys were in elementary school—it was a small school—they both had a fourth grade teacher who was enamored of Shakespeare and wanted to bring the Bard’s brilliance to her students. That was why every year her class did one of Shakespeare’s plays. To be sure, these were not full-length productions but culled from any number of abridged versions of which there are many designed for young people to perform.
Now I can see youngsters performing an abridged version of Midsummer’s Night Dream; Bottom with his donkey’s head, and Queen Titania falling in love with him. However, a fourth grade version of Hamlet or Macbeth is another matter.
The productions were, frankly, absurd and often, while not meant to be funny, were funny. Very funny.
Awards and Recognition
- ALA/YASD Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers, 1988
- IRA Children’s Choice, 1988
- Bank Street College best books of the year, 1988
- Wisconsin Children’s Book Center, best books of the year, 1988
- Starred Review, Booklist, 1987
- A Child Study Association Book of the Year
“An imaginative, cleverly-written, laugh-out-loud story.” (Booklist, starred review)