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Shakespeare's Stories for Young Readers
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Shakespeare's Stories for Young Readers

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  653 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Twelve of Shakespeare's greatest tales come to life in this entertaining collection of short, lively stories specially adapted for young readers. Capturing the vital events and using some of the original wording, the stories serve as a perfect introduction to Shakespeare for preteens and as literate refreshers for older folks.
Fulfilling a request from her own children, aut
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Paperback, 80 pages
Published March 3rd 2006 by Dover Publications (first published 1907)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jamie
Feb 05, 2017 Jamie rated it liked it
I expected to like this more. I appreciated having condensed stories to introduce my kids to Shakespeare. Some read well, others were quite confusing and felt very rushed.
Carolyn Shields
Mar 03, 2015 Carolyn Shields rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Excellent! The perfect way to introduce Shakespeare to children.
A B
Feb 28, 2017 A B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me of how weird and delightful Shakespeare can be, but I was also amused to see how many tropes he uses. Namely:

- women disguised as men
- men disguised as women (and occasional donkeys)
- people falling in love with the disguised
- women loving complete and utter jackasses (in one case, literally)
- lots and lots of shipwrecks

I am a strong advocate of children's versions of classic tales. I absolutely loved reading "Classics Illustrated" - books and comics - growing up and I fee
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Saphraneet
Apr 18, 2016 Saphraneet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, classics
In honor of April being the month of William Shakespeare's birth and death, I thought it was time to read some of his works. I haven't read much Shakespeare since H.S. English class so I thought that perhaps by reading abridged versions I would become familiar with the characters and plots and then more wisely choose which of his plays to tackle first.

This book by E. Nesbit was a charming abridgement of Shakespeare's plays that had the feel of an old fashioned storybook. This particular copy I r
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Shannon
Jan 04, 2014 Shannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2014
As a simple, clean telling of the storyline, this works. But sometimes it's very awkward. What I gained from the book (which is definitely not intended for my age group) is an interest in further discovery of some of Shakespeare's plays. Probably that is its aim for children, and I would suggest children 8-11. Would I share it with children? I don't know....

Shakespeare's plots are complex. Nesbit strives to include the necessary parts, which sometimes makes the mere facts the only inclusion. It
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Marcie
Jan 31, 2011 Marcie rated it really liked it
E. Nesbit has written many children's books. The one I'm most familiar with is The Railway Children. I really like that book and it influenced my decision to purchase this book. In the introduction of Shakespeare's Stories for Young Children, E. Nesbit explains her reasons for writing this book. She explains that her children love Shakespeare's story lines but at the time were too young to enjoy the actual play. So she took some of Shakespeare's most famous plays and summarized them, making it e ...more
Stven
Dec 11, 2008 Stven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stven by: E. Nesbit's name
Excellent retellings of several of Shakespeare's plays! If you're ever booked to go see Twelfth Night or Merchant of Venice and would like to have an idea what the story is about while you're watching it, read it here first.

Not to make this a rant about modern Shakespeare productions, but.... All too often the people putting on the play are so much more familiar with it than some of us poor sods out here in the audience that they forget: We don't know the story! And the Elizabethan language of S
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bridget trinkaus
Apr 01, 2008 bridget trinkaus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to bridget by: amie doughty
Shelves: for-school
this was a brief introduction to shakespeare for children. some of the stories glossed certain plot lines over, perhaps e. nesbit did not think they were important. but i feel in shakespeare that the minor plot lines are just as important as the major ones (as we had discussed in class. my new favorite play is the winter's tale, and it was done wonderfully in this shortened form. this may have been the only story that i did not take issue with.
anika likes shakespeare--i have told her the jist o
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Jennifer Lewis
Feb 22, 2016 Jennifer Lewis rated it it was amazing
As a preparation to go see Shakespeare's First Folio, which is currently making its rounds to each state as a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, I bought this book to introduce my daughters, ages 8 & 10, to the works of The Bard. My 10 year old adored it. I thought it was well done. E. Nesbit has an eloquent way of conveying the basic essence of the plays without the complications of complex language structures. My daughters were able to follow along rather well, to ...more
Featherglass
Mar 12, 2012 Featherglass rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To write the storyline behind a Shakespearean work without detracting from the beauty of the play is difficult. For example, how does one tell the already-cliched story of thwarted love (Romeo and Juliet) without sounding sentimental and schmaltzy? But E. Nesbit does, in simple language and a well-thought out structure to the storyline she plots out of the massive works of the Bard.

Beyond the storyline, she weaves in her views on the heros and heroines that meander in and out of Twelfth Night,
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Jake
Aug 24, 2012 Jake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, the title says it all. This is about a dozen or so of Shakespeare's plots outlines and simplified for children (probably ages 10 and over I would think). It was done by one of my favorite children's writers, E. Nesbit who has a wonderful way of relating to the little ones among us. Having read many of Shakespeare's plays (and at least aware of the plots of most of them) I still enjoyed the simple and enchanting was Mrs Nesbit relates these timeless stories. It was also a great way to keep ...more
Cynthia Egbert
Jan 08, 2015 Cynthia Egbert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-and-read
When a writer, who is distilling down Shakespeare to the basic stories for children, begins her version of Macbeth with these words "When a person is asked to tell the story of Macbeth, he can tell two stories. One is of a man who came to the throne of Scotland by a crime in the year 1039, and reigned justly and well, on the whole, for fifteen years or more. This story is part of Scottish history. The other story issues from a place called Imagination; it is gloomy and wonderful, and you shall h ...more
Chrystal Phillips
Jan 19, 2015 Chrystal Phillips rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was nice to read through brief synopsis type breakdowns of Shakespeare's works. Some are hard to understand (unless you enjoy reading Olde English, and some of us still exist lol), so the simplicity of each story is indeed, easy enough for a child to understand - and offers a look into the stories for those adults who may struggle with Shakespeare in it's native form. While I will still read the original, I could easily give this version to my children to possibly awaken a desire to read the ...more
Matthew Hunter
We took our sweet time reading through these 10 retellings of Shakespeare's plays. The extended read time doesn't mean we found Nesbit's work lacking, however. Our kids loved the plays, especially Romeo & Juliet. Anyone who can make Shakespeare accessible to youngsters is tops in my book. Nesbit crafts the retellings so skillfully, I had no choice but to throw 5 stars at The Best of Shakespeare: Retellings of 10 Classic Plays.
Erin
Jun 12, 2008 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful introduction for children to the stories of Shakespeare. The language is still high, but not overwhelming like reading straight Shakespeare to a 9 year old. He loved it, by the way and got excited to hear the end to see if everyone died or everyone got married so he could say "Comedy!" or "Tragedy!". I found my copy at a library book sale, but the title is "Beautiful Stories of Shakespeare for Children". I don't know why they're not beautiful anymore.
Michelle
Jul 04, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Edith Nesbitt (Railway Children fame) was a favorite author of J.K. Rowling. (Ironically, Nesbitt was never popular in America because some of her fantasy books were perceived as promoting witchcraft) She first wrote this around 1900. She had told her children of the wonders of Shakespeare, and when she read it to them they were less than thrilled. She decided to write her own version for her children. She did William proud.
Anne Lawson
This is not as good as the Lamb's Shakespeare, but for kids it is still a good introduction to Shakespeare - much better than some. I mean, it is Edith Nesbit after all! Still, some of the stories seemed too paraphrased and rushed. Wish she could have found a way to add a few more details and good original lines from the original.
Dayna Smith
Twenty of Shakespeare's plays re-shaped to be easily understood by children. A great introduction to the plays of the Bard for younger readers. A fantastic book to use for bedtime stories. The illustrations are gorgeous, with all the characters portrayed as children. A masterful classic work every parent should own and read to their children.
Andria Harriman
Jan 03, 2014 Andria Harriman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I read this to Audrey on our way to Shakespeare's birthplace and found it was a really good introduction to some of his more popular and entertaining plays. I liked that it didn't sugar coat the plot (romeo and Juliet still kill themselves) but it wasnt graphic and did make the stories easier for kids (and grownups!) to understand.
Daniel Sadicario
Oct 25, 2013 Daniel Sadicario rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A perfect introduction to the Bard, at least for those under about eight. The stories are short enough and language accessible enough for a five year old (the stories read like regular mythology), while still wading in the artful poetry of Shakespeare and themes of each play. In other words, my antsy boys (five and seven) enjoy it.
Trudy Pomerantz
Oct 03, 2016 Trudy Pomerantz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on a librivox audio edition though I cannot find that listed as an edition.

This was a great introduction to the story lines of Shakespeare even for an adult. My plan is to listen to this again as I read through (or listen to) all of Shakespeare's plays so that I can start off having some idea of who everyone is and the basic outline of the play.
Haley Grizzell
Dec 07, 2014 Haley Grizzell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E. Nesbit did an admirable job in converting Shakespeare stories into children's stories, but there will always be a bit missing from them. You cannot truly enjoy Shakespeare without reading his own words. No matter how many times we change his work, it is never better than its original form.
Debbie
I feel like I was supposed to like this more than I did. The plays are condensed down to basic characters/events, but with so much going on in Shakespeare's plays, these read like Cliffs Notes. I had to draw pictures as we read to keep characters apart. That said, Isaiah loved them.
Shelli
Jun 06, 2011 Shelli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The children and I are currently reading through this collection. Each story is written as a narrative (not as a play). This book it is giving the kids a firm understanding of the story lines which accompany Shakespearean comedies and tragedies.
Heather
I felt that some of Shakespeare's plays lent themselves better to a short story format than others. However, this book is a great way to become familiar with the plot of one of his plays before actually reading it or seeing it, especiall for children.
Gracia
Jun 01, 2010 Gracia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite story was Romeo and Juliet. I liked all the other stories too. I also like Midsummer Night's Dream because the fairy king put magic juice on the fairy queen and she fell in love with a clown with a donkey head.
Marie
Aug 15, 2009 Marie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 8, 9, or 10 year olds?
Uses quotations from Shakespeare, looks worth reading in a couple years. Still seems too complex and too few illustrations for my 5/6 year old. Try maybe when she's 8?
Annalise
Sep 20, 2007 Annalise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: my-random-books
I read this book to start me off in Shakespeare's work. It's an easier version so as to understand it better. I read this for school but I really enjoyed it. It has some of his best stories in here.
Teri
Not impressed. Try other adaptations of Shakespeare for children.
Lafcadio
Dec 07, 2014 Lafcadio rated it it was ok
Shelves: shorts, released, stage
These stories are simplified enough for young readers, but still not super appealing to young readers.
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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