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Shakespeare's Scribe (Shakespeare Stealer, #2)
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Shakespeare's Scribe (The Shakespeare Stealer #2)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  1,125 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
When an outbreak of the deadly Black Plague closes the Globe Theatre, William Shakespeare's acting troupe sets off on a tour of England. Widge, the orphan-turned-actor, knows that he'll be useful on the trip. Not only does he love the stage, but his knack for a unique shorthand has proven him one of the most valuable apprentices in the troupe. But then a mysterious man app ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 18th 2002 by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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(showing 1-30)
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Christopher
Mar 12, 2016 Christopher rated it really liked it
Didn't love it as much as the first,but still enjoyed it. Good amount of action (duels), some subtle mystery, and some interesting new characters. One new character I really could do without, though.Got really emotional and a bit angry at one point, but no spoilers.

Was frustrated with Widge's lack of confidence and ability to stick up for himself. It takes him way too long to fight for himself in this one. After what he'd been through that surprised me. The ending happened way too fast. Everyth
...more
Tom
Feb 03, 2015 Tom rated it it was amazing
I thought that this book was very good. It wasn't filled with action, but it was a good, rambling book. I especially liked the nervous parts of the book, and how each little story got unraveled. What's more, all the characters had a strong mind. Lastly, I liked how the book came together at the end.
I would recommend it to anyone.
Lee (Rally the Readers)
Also posted on Rally The Readers.

The Shakespeare Stealer was a very enjoyable read, so I was really looking forward to reading the follow-up, Shakespeare’s Scribe. Much to my disappointment, the sequel lacked the charm and wit that made the first book so captivating. I just didn’t feel as invested in the story and the characters as I did with The Shakespeare Stealer.

The plot of Shakespeare’s Scribe, which centers around the Lord Chamberlain’s Men taking their act on the road after the plague f
...more
Wayne S.
Jun 24, 2012 Wayne S. rated it really liked it
Widge is a fifteen-year-old orphan boy who has become an apprentice actor in William Shakespeare’s troupe, known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. It is the summer of 1602, and the bubonic plague is rearing its ugly head. Theaters in London are closed down, so Widge goes on the road with the rest of the company, except for his best friend Alexander (Sander) Cooke, who stays behind. When they get to York, Widge visits the orphanage where he was raised and learns a little more about his mother. He al ...more
Elisabeth Wheatley
Jul 14, 2012 Elisabeth Wheatley rated it it was amazing
When the fear of the plague causes plays and other public gatherings to be banned, the Lord Chamberlain's Men go gypsy, traveling from town to town, to pay the bills (or make an effort at it). Young Widge goes with them, trying to work hard and be useful while a new prentice, the unbearably perfect Sal Pavy, makes life just a little less tolerable. At one of the towns, there is an altercation over whether or not the players should be allowed to perform and Shakespeare's right arm is broken. Thus ...more
Mary
Jun 11, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childhood
"I had had no desire, of course, to be inside the walls of the orphanage again. But the sight of the stage filled me with a fierce longing."

I want to give some kind of excuse for repeatedly reading YA literature--honestly, I read it so I can recommend books to my younger brother--but truth be told I really do enjoy it.

The second in the series by Blackwood, this one succeeds in having a more consistent tone and clearer plot. The use of early modern phrases and words add a fun level to the readin
...more
Hannah Russell
Liked it. Didn't love it. Widge was still a good character, and I think it was in the world enough to be historical fiction, but not so far in it that it read like a day-in-the-life guide. I liked the main characters struggle, and I liked that it didn't all resolve (something that children's books do far too much). I wish that we'd gotten more of Sander in this book, and the conflict was a little aggravating and out of character. But, nice historical fiction.
Selena (Life of a Random)
I haven't read historical fiction in a very long time so when I dived into this book and thoroughly enjoyed submersing myself in the world of theater and acting and plays I was extremely happy.

Things I liked:
1. I loved the world! I really liked reading about acting and (even though it was sad) the plague.
2. Widge was a good main character. He got my sympathy and even though sometimes I wanted to punch him to get him to see things straight, and even though he had a questionable past and had done
...more
Jaynam
Apr 01, 2013 Jaynam rated it did not like it
it was a boring book for good reasons. Shakespeare's Scribe is set at the time the plague hit, and is about an orphan boy who works in a theater company which is called the Chamberlain's Men. This company has gone gypsy because of the plague, and along the way he meets a strange fellow who claims to be his father, and he goes along with the theater on their route. Later on their is a terrifying twist that drastically affects the boy, but the boy still continues on with his life. The reason I hat ...more
Jan
Jun 15, 2009 Jan rated it liked it
How odd! This sequel to The Shakespeare Stealer does not begin in nearly as lively or compelling a way as the original. The first 25 pages felt as though the author had to force himself to get started. The pace drags, and there is little to intrigue the reader.
After a slow start, the author introduces an arrogant apprentice, a plague scare, and a mysterious stranger. The tale moves better from then on, and is a worthy sequel.
The date is 1602, and the great bubonic plague is just starting in
...more
Maren
Jul 03, 2009 Maren rated it really liked it
I remembered reading the first book of this series when I saw this one at the library- The Shakespeare Stealer - and remembered liking it enough that I wouldn't mind going for the sequel/s.
It's fun reading, not brilliant, but fun. The main character ends up in Shakespeare's acting company, The Lord Chamberlain's Men, in the first book, and the story continues here.
The story takes place around the fact that the black plague epidemic sends the company out of London and on tour to try to make mone
...more
H
Jun 19, 2015 H rated it liked it
Widge travels with Shakespeare in a troup during an outbreak of the Black Plague. I did not read the first book in the series, The Shakespeare Stealer. Widge, an orphan, has become an actor, but his writing skills are put to use when William Shakespeare breaks his arm. I picked up this book because it was on my son's sixth grade recommended reading list under across the curriculum fiction, although I think it could also be listed as historical fiction.

It was good, much better than I expected. It
...more
Lauren
Apr 22, 2012 Lauren rated it it was ok
Shelves: old
Meh, this book lacked a lot of the appeal of the previous one, but focused more on the world. I'm a sucker for some good historical fiction, so naturally I picked it up, but it wasn't terribly rewarding.

Perhaps this book is good for younger readers, and it certainly mixes the dramatic romance of Shakespeare with the realities of the time (intrigue, everybody!), but I didn't find myself liking it very much. Almost nothing of it stuck with me and when I look at it now on my bookshelf I think of it
...more
Amanda
Jun 06, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Eh. It was pretty good. I like the style he writes in, but not as good as the first. It makes a lot of references to Shakespeare's plays, but never gives a brief summary of the plot or characters. So, you'll only understand what they're talking about if you know the plays... (Which i didn't... I only knew Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet...)
I was SUPER confused though... At the end of the first book it says that Widge gave up saying "aye" and "nay" and "ken" from being in London so much, then in t
...more
Lauren
Jul 01, 2010 Lauren rated it liked it
Better than its prequel, the writing style still bugged (and I finally figured out why - it's like listening to a poorly trained actor trying to do Shakespearean verse), but overall I really liked this one. The Lord Chamberlain's Men are forced to go on the road after the plague hits London, opening up a variety of subplots. My only complaint would be the book ended abruptly with some odd loose ends - up until the last thirty or forty pages, the pace was consistent, and the way it went into over ...more
Cathrine Bonham
Haha This book had an authors note but it was really for the frist book so I don't really know what evidence Blackwood used in coming to the conclusion that the mysterious LOST play by Shakespeare "Loves Labors Won" is really just an early version of "Alls Well That Ends Well."

Anyway nitpicking aside this was another interesting look at the espionage and intrige that surrounded Elizabethian Acting companies.

Very exciting and good background builder for students before they start to read The Bar
...more
Irene
Nov 20, 2011 Irene rated it liked it
The first book in this series is definitely the better one. This book starts off slowly, but picks up towards the end. It is, again, considered for young adults, but is okay for 5th grade and up, with the only less appropriate scene being one where, in a sword fight, one person threatens to cut off the other person's tongue. There is a lot of gambling and stealing going on, and there is mention of people drinking in a pub, but nothing really bad.
Yang-Ha Kim
Apr 07, 2013 Yang-Ha Kim rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Theresa
Aug 22, 2013 Theresa rated it it was amazing
Poor Widge, he just wants to know who he is and be accepted as a real player in his troupe.

So this story is about how Widge finds a rosary of his mother's and then hopes to find out more about himself. It doesn't exactly work out that way.

Also this is the story of the plague, and after crying so many tears over fictional characters I was afraid I would have none left for the character that dies, but I found gobs of tears still.

Yibin
Apr 05, 2013 Yibin rated it really liked it
I thought this book was full of excitement, mystery, and suspense. The plague has stroke England! The queen has banned the play performances as long as the death toll remains high. The Lord Chamberlain's men has to become gypsies and move from cities to cities in order to perform and make a living. In their travels, many things happen. Shakespeare breaks his arm, a close friend of Widge's die and Widge has found his father ... or did he?
Sue
Dec 29, 2009 Sue rated it really liked it
In this sequel to The Shakespeare Stealer, Widge has more adventures as the theater company he is with goes on the road as a means to escape the plague. He learns something about his family he never knew and manages to escape some treacherous brawls. It seems like Widge is a very good, caring person but has a very low self-esteem. It's no wonder that many people from that time period had any self-esteem at all. It seems like many of them were treated roughly as children.
Luan
May 05, 2009 Luan rated it really liked it
I liked this book. It seems to me the only thing that is different between an adult and a youth book is: no bad language, no sex, no horrible angst--well, there is angst, but not gut twisting, unassailable angst. It's angst you can work through. It's angst with a happy ending.

Of course, when I was talking to my daughter about this great book, she said, 'yea, mom, I read that already. In the third grade.'

I don't care. Bring on Cat in the Hat.
Cory
Jun 06, 2013 Cory added it
Anything involving Shakespeare is usually categorized by teens as BORING. But, the Shakespeare's Stealer book series has made Shakespeare related things a bit less intensive on the mind and has also told Shakespeare's stories through the eyes of a young boy. This change of POV has changed the book into a much easier to understand and more emotional story. Overall, this book is a good read. READ IT!
Neill Smith
Aug 06, 2011 Neill Smith rated it it was amazing
In the second book of the trilogy Widge has obtained a position with Shakespeare’s company as a player as well as a scribe. The company must go on the road as the plague has closed most of the theatres in London. While traveling they are in direct competition with other troupes but there is some internal intrique regarding Widge’s parentage and his growth as a person.
sudsy
Jul 19, 2016 sudsy rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one who liked a certain character
Recommended to sudsy by: actually, my sister said NOT to read it
I adamantly do not like this book. (view spoiler) Anyone who likes the first book and one of the characters a lot should not ever consider reading this book. I hate this book and I will never ever touch it again.
Heather
May 19, 2012 Heather rated it it was ok


This book was a disappointing read after the first one. The slow-moving plot didn't engage me until about the last 60 pages. However, I did appreciate the glimpses into the medical practices of the day, the plague, and the cultural views of the people such as fortune's wheel and the idea that the players brought on the plague because of their base profession.
Monica
Jun 13, 2010 Monica rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who like Shakespeare
Recommended to Monica by: Me
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julia
Aug 20, 2008 Julia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andy
Dec 17, 2008 Andy rated it really liked it
The second book was more interesting than the first. Sal's snobbery frustrated me, as did Widge's indecision. Plus, I like how the story crudely paralleled the play that Shakespeare was working on. Clever ploys that worked, tighter writing (imho), and some more depth to Widge and his world. I really enjoyed the book.
Bonnie Ferrante
Sep 05, 2012 Bonnie Ferrante rated it really liked it
An orphan boy travelling with Shakespeare and his acting troupe encounters a man who claims to be his father. A quick and enjoyable read. The historical setting unfolds naturally and the hero is an engaging character.
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He grew up in rural Cochranton, Western Pennsylvania. He attended school in a one room schoolhouse. He graduated with a B.A. in English from Grove City College in Pennsylvania. While a college student, Blackwood published his first short story, Cliffs of Gold, in Twelve/ Fifteen magazine. Blackwood's first book was The Lion and the Unicorn, which he published when he was nineteen. Blackwood sets h ...more
More about Gary L. Blackwood...

Other Books in the Series

The Shakespeare Stealer (3 books)
  • The Shakespeare Stealer (Shakespeare Stealer, #1)
  • Shakespeare's Spy (Shakespeare Stealer, #3)

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“A little fear is good for a fellow, it keeps him from getting over-confident.” 6 likes
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