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August 10, 2016
I love April. No, not because it’s finally getting a little warmer here in New York (don’t get me wrong, that’s awesome, too). April is National Poetry Month! Not only that, but it’s also the birth month of the Bard himself, William Shakespeare. That’s right—this Saturday marks William Shakespeare’s birthday. To say I like Shakespeare doesn’t quite cut it—I am obsessed with Shakespeare. His works are something of an addiction for me, and I’m only two plays short of having read everything he ever wrote (that we know of, anyway). Countless works bear his influence, and while the plays and poetry of Shakespeare may not arouse the same excitement in young people these days as say The Hunger Games trilogy or the Twilight Saga, people will know the names “Romeo” and “Juliet” long after they’ve forgotten who Bella and Edward are. Shakespeare’s works truly cater to everyone: His plays abound with cold-blooded killers, brave kings, scheming courtiers, witches, fairy lords, and even ghosts. They take place in gloomy castles, majestic palaces, exotic beaches, and bloodstained battlefields, and touch on both the great savagery and great love humans are capable of. Shakespeare not only authored some of the best plays of all time—not to mention some fantastic poetry—but is also the godfather of the modern English language, inventing well over 1,500 words and changing English grammar forever. No matter one’s personal opinion of his writing, his monumental works have secured his place as one of the greatest writers of all time. You can find the following Shakespeare titles online in Club Shop.
Poetry for Young People: William Shakespeare – Selections from Shakespeare’s plays and three complete sonnets are included in this book with evocative illustrations and information about the settings of the texts.
Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear: Three Tragedies – A young prince’s recently murdered father appears to demand justice. Uncontrollable ambition drives another young man to deceit and murder in his climb to power—and finally to madness. The three daughters of an elderly king are pitted against each other for his affections and his throne. Three of Shakespeare’s most thrilling plays are collected here in a single volume for readers new and old.
Romeo and Juliet – Romeo and Juliet’s families are deadly enemies, and their mutual hatred has cost many lives already. Still, these star-crossed teens believe their love can heal all, and so they secretly marry—with disastrous results. The unforgettable story of a family feud and a tragic twist of fate, Shakespeare’s tale of teenage romance is as fresh today as when it was written four centuries ago. Packed with as much swordplay as wordplay, Romeo and Juliet is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for teen readers.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – This gorgeously illustrated foldout book features a pop-up model of Shakespeare’s theater, a booklet on the history of the famous playhouse, stick puppets, and script books for two actors featuring a number of short scenes from the Bard’s plays.
Teachable Moment: You may have noticed certain words highlighted in this post. These are just a few of the many words Shakespeare gave us!
April 21, 2011