Elisabeth Wheatley's Reviews > The Shakespeare Stealer

The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary L. Blackwood
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jul 08, 2012

it was amazing
Read on July 10, 2012

NOTE TO SELF: You love MG historical fiction. Read more of it. That's an order.

The Shakespeare Stealer is the story of Widge, an orphan boy in Elizabethan England who's had it pretty rough his whole life. He is the charge of a somewhat unpleasant and lazy doctor who has taught him a unique form of coded shorthand that can be written as fast as words are spoken. This makes Widge a valuable asset to an unscrupulous man called Falconer who wants to steal Shakespeare's newest play, The Tragedy of Prince Hamlet. Widge is basically bought by Falconer who takes him from the country to London. Widge is sent into the Globe Theatre during the performance to copy out the script, but things don't go as planned. Widge finds himself the charge of one of the players, an affable, kindly man, and making friends for the first time in his life. But Falconer will not be disappointed and soon Widge has to choose between his friends and his own well-being.

This book did have a somewhat heavy undertone. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it greatly and I kept ploughing through the pages, aching to know what would come next. Would Widge betray the players who had taken him in? If he didn't, how would he escape Falconer's wrath?

The Shakespeare Stealer is an excellent example of MG historical fiction. Though I thought Gary Blackwood might have taken some liberties when writing Shakespeare's character (he was a bit more sedate in this book than I've been lead to believe by other sources), all in all, it was a satisfying portrayal of the drudgeries of Elizabethan-era life and little joys that made it worthwhile. This book addresses the censorship of art that was imposed by the crown, the ban on women from the theatre, and the unfortunate plight of orphans in those days. It is not a book to read for laughs, but it is still a book to read for enjoyment. I loved watching Widge grow and stop just surviving and start actually living.

I recommend this book to anyone who will listen!

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Shakespeare Stealer.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

07/10/2012 page 12
show 1 hidden update…

No comments have been added yet.