The Shakespeare Stealer

Book review by Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Shakespeare Stealer Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 9+

A fresh look at Shakespeare for young readers.

Parents say

age 11+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 12 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+
I am surprised the CS review does not address the themes of anti-semitism in the Shakespeare Stealer. While historically accurate, there is no context or perspective for younger readers. One of the subplots is hatred of Jews--while a lot of books deal with racism or bigotry, there is usually balance or a moral. Not so here. Not that the author is advocating, just that the negative stereotypes are presented as a matter of fact with no offsetting perspective. By the end of the book (in which the subplot plays a part), the anti-semitism felt gratiutous and, in terms of the ending, a bit ridiculous. I found a lot to like about this book--it is a fun introduction to Shakespeare and life in London during the middle ages. But the ending (which is simply a medieval version of a car chase and shoot out) and the unbalanced portrayal of Jews, makes this hard to recommend, particularly for younger readers (10 and under).

This title has:

Too much violence
age 11+

Another side to Shakespeare

This book provides a wonderful back door entry in to the world of Shakespeare. It gives a realistic idea of what it was like to live during that period. It shows just how brutal poverty could be at that time and how a few good people could help set a child on the right path. It allows a perspective on Shakespeare that would otherwise be hard to acquire. It also gives another insight on plagiarism.

This title has:

Educational value

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

For kids who love a little heart with their history

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