Parents' Guide to

The Shakespeare Stealer

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

A fresh look at Shakespeare for young readers.

The Shakespeare Stealer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 2 parent 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
1 person found this helpful.
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

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (8 ):

What more could you want in an adventure: There's a plucky orphan, swashbuckling swordplay, Elizabethan theater, a girl posing as a boy, and a dastardly villain who's not what he seems. As a nice bonus, Gary Blackwood's THE SHAKESPEARE STEALER also illuminates an interesting problem: the stealing of plays in Elizabethan England. With its fast pace, unusual setting, and even more unusual crime, this has found a ready audience among the upper elementary and middle school set.

Book Details

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