People around the world are celebrating 2016 as the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s passing.
While Shakespeare’s influence spreads to nearly every corner of Western arts and culture, let’s remember that first and foremost he produced stage plays for public entertainment. While the English language has changed immeasurably since the sixteenth century, an effective stage performance can still shine light on the drama, humor, romance and brilliance of Shakespeare’s plays.
We have resources that introduce young people to some of these great works. Since many of us struggle with the Early Modern English of Shakespeare’s plays, these resources might be a good place for us to start, too.
At the teen level, The Shakespeare Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained of the Shakespeare Made Easy series presents the original language opposite a facing page of more contemporary English. Each of the plays is explained with graphs, photos and accessible summaries.
Nick Newlin’s The 30-Minute Shakespeare Anthology, excerpts familiar moments from several of Shakespeare’s plays and presents them as scenes for monologues and small groups of young people.
For younger ones, there is the Shakespeare Can Be Fun! Series by Lois Burdett. These slim paperbacks present the plays retold for modern young ears, and feature kid-created colorful illustrations, short poems and diary entries throughout.
The award-winning Bruce Coville has assembled a series of Shakespeare’s plays retold and elegantly illustrated.
Most of our Shakespeare books are gathered in one convenient spot. Just ask, and we’ll give you a quick tour of our collection.