A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A plucky orphan falls in love with acting in this swashbuckling adventure story. There are some mentions of Anti-Jewish sentiment in Elizabethan London, but on a whole this a fun, breezy read.
Positive Role Models
Widge lies often, and plans to steal Shakespeare's work, but decides not to.
Violence & Scariness
Swordplay leads to wounds, blood, and death.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
It is mentioned that the married Shakespeare may be having an affair.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
An older teen drinks to excess on several occasions.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book includes some swordplay that leads to wounds and death. There's also some teen drinking, lying, and a mention of an affair.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.