Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Extra – Credit: Reading Shakespeare

We’re well into the summer now (happy Fourth of July!), and it seems that lounging outside on a beautiful day with a good book is the best way to spend the time. I agree. If you happen to be reading this, though please share if you’re summer reading list includes any books or novels which deal with some Shakespeare!

For example:

The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown – the three Andreas sisters were raised in a sleepy college town in the middle of nowhere. Their father who prefers to speak in Bard quotations, and even named them after Shakespeare’s heroines: Rosalind, Bianca, and Cordelia. After growing their separate ways for years, they have to return home and deal with their personal failings and each other’s, for they inherited their namesakes’ weaker qualities even with their strengths.

The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt – this YA novel follows middleschool student Holling Hoodhood, the only Presbyterian in a town dominated by Catholics and Jews in Long Island. Every Wednesday afternoon, every other member in Holling’s class leaves school to attend religious study – leaving Holling alone with Mrs. Baker (who hates his guts). Over the course of the novel, Mrs. Baker teaches Holling to apply Shakespeare’s words to his own life, and gain wisdom from his experience.

How Shakespeare Changed Everything, by Stephen Marche – this non-fiction study explores how the world has changed thanks to Shakespeare. Language, landscape, even wildlife in certain American countrysides has been altered in some way due to Shakespeare’s continuing relevance and the world’s passion for his work. (This is actually still on my wish list, so if you have had a chance to read it, tell us about it in the comments!)


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