Monday, August 5, 2013

Off the Bookshelf: BEAUTIFUL STORIES FROM SHAKESPEARE

I remember finding this book by E. Nesbit in the bookshelves in my fifth grade classroom and devouring it. I thought I was pretty smart, because everybody who even had the slightest idea who Shakespeare was said his stories were complicated and hard to read -- what with the King James English and being in script format.

These stories are Ms. Nesbit's re-telling of some of Shakespeare's plays -- certainly not all of them, like the really bloody, violent, insane ones -- in short story format. She essentially makes them family friendly and easier to digest. I don't know if they'd help you pass a test on Shakespeare, because she glosses over some of the grittier elements of the stories.

Still, as an introduction to Shakespeare and some of his better-known plays, it's a good starting place. I'm glad I found this e-book -- a collection of the complete works of E. Nesbit, with illustrations -- and I'll be reading more of her books and reporting on them here as time goes on. She wrote a lot of fantasy. Not as fun as, say, the Edward Eager books like Half Magic, but interesting just the same. These are classics that you should introduce your children to -- before they read the modern ones like Percy Jackson or Twilight.

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