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Who Was William Shakespeare?
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Who Was William Shakespeare? (Who Was/Is...?)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  581 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
The beloved plays of Shakespeare are still produced everywhere, yet the life of the world's most famous playwright remains largely a mystery.

Young Will left the town of Stratford to pursue theater in London, where his work eventually thrived and made him a famous and wealthy man.

With black-and-white illustrations that include a diagram of the famous Globe theater, Celest
Paperback, 105 pages
Published December 28th 2006 by Grosset & Dunlap (first published December 1st 2006)
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Oct 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Now, I'm going to start this review by saying that I don't hate the Who Was series. I think they are one of the better children's biography series out there. It's hard to get young kids interested in history, and they do a pretty good job at it.

That being said, I wouldn't have even published this if I had been them. First off, writing any kind of anything about William Shakespeare is risky. There aren't many details about his life, and the ones we do know are questionable at best. Add that to
Madison Borowski
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In the beginning, this book talks about his life as a child. Then, it talks about his life as an actor and about all of his plays. In the end, it talks about how he died, where he died, and when he died. This book was very interesting and entrancing to read. That is very shocking to here from me because I really don't like biography's, but I loved this one! I recommend this book to people that love history and William Shakespeare. I rate this book a 5 because it was really to the point on Willi ...more
Brenna Mack
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Do you ever wonder who was the greatest play write ever?Well, I know the answer: William Shakespeare. Now you know he is a play write but do you want to know even more about William Shakespeare? Than read Who was William Shakespeare? Join Shakespeare on a fantastic journey through his life. Learn about his childhood, his family, and how he made his famous plays. I would recommend this book to people who love the Who is/was series. I love this book because I love learning about history and I lov ...more
Jennifer Siddiqui
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I learned some very interesting things about Shakespeare that made me appreciate his work.
Sarah Edwards
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
The Who Was? series is an excellent way to teach students about a variety of people--both living and deceased. I chose to read Who Was William Shakespeare? because my eighth grade students read Romeo and Juliet at the end of the year. We always do an "introduction to Shakespeare" activity, but I was curious about the information included in this particular book.

Who Was William Shakespeare? is a quick one-hundred page read with an abundance of black and white illustrations throughout. It details
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
So this isn't very biographical, instead it reads more like an annotation of all of his plays and poetry with an occasional tidbit of speculation about his life, family, finances, and character. Essentially it was too early to have anything written about Shakespeare with an air of mystery still surrounding whether Christopher Marlowe wrote everything Shakespeare claimed to write.

What it does instead is aligns what was happening in real life to some of what ended up in the plays and how they wer
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I read who was william shakespeare by, davidson mannis. This book didn't include much of his personal life but it gave good information about his career. He grew up watching plays that jos father put on since he was mayor. His passion for plays was increased as he got older. Than after traveling he finally wrote some play ideas. He joined traveling actors and go them to performe it. His plays got very popular and everyone knew his name.

I personally found this book very fun and interesting.
Sarah -
Enjoyed reading this one with my four and a half year old. I love this whole series and we have many of the books, which I read to her. One of my favorite things about this reading time is the fact that she is actually retaining some of the information, and will mention something days later, or ask a question. I highly recommend this series for all kiddos - and start them early! It is never too early for a little non-fiction.
Carson Hayes
Oct 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Who Was William Shakespeare by Celeste Davidson Mannis, it covers his childhood and late adult hood and very small section on his young adulthood. There are some very informational parts of the book then there are not.
I HATED it!!!!! This book, it was awful, it is the worst who was book ever!!! Half of the story is just not about him but more about London. In my opionon it should be called London and one famous guy named Shakespeare.
I would never suggest this book to anyone!! Unless you are a h
Amy T.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book with my 11-year-old daughter. This whole series of biographies is so good for elementary readers. We have been on a Shakespeare kick lately, and it was interesting to read about how his personal life, his plays, and politics in England all lined up.
Michelle Christensen
Shakespeare lived a different life than I had anticipated. In retrospect, though, it seems to be very much the life that an theater person would have had to live in those days. This author was okay, but not the best in this series of books.
I'm not big into books that are mostly supposition, and there was plenty of supposition in this one. However, considering how far back Shakespeare's life goes, making assumptions is inevitable. There is much about Shakespeare's life that is simply unknown. But what is known is very interesting.
Felipe Alfaro
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good book!
Nice to have an overview of Shakespeare's titles and their plots.
The character of Shylock and the Shakespearean origin of many English phrases like "wild goose chase" was particularly interesting.
Robert Hopkins
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
As always these are good for all ages. I took a semester on the guy in college and still learned some cool stuff in this book. This went along with our reading The Tempest for kids. Good combo.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my top choice from this series, and I wasn't disappointed! Just wish I'd had this book back when I taught Shakespeare.
Katie Solt
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
It was okay it need more
Lev Abrasha
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 49ers-are-0and6
Muhammad Fitri
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
cerita-cerita mudah dan ringkas perjalanan seorang shakespeare.
Mrs. Fisher
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a quick biography on one of the world's most famous playwrights and provides some great details about Shakespeare's life, while leaving readers wanting to know more. The book also contains lists of the words and phrases attributed to Shakespeare, which may surprise readers (eyeball, love letter and majestic, to name a few). Great for those who like reading about the lives of others!
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book by Mannis had a lot of depth in history to it and was shown not only as a read for young children but for young people too. Though I have one objection- it will most likely not be interesting to the age group that it's recommended for (kids 7yr-10yr) and I think it would be much more appriciated by girls and boys that are a little older and would understand everything (though if you are homeschooling a child, I would highly recommend) because it wasn't just dealing with Shakespeare him ...more
Nov 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Biography: This easy to read biography about William Shakespeare provides lots of information in an amusing form. The author tells about what Shakespeare's early years as a child were probably like, since little information is available. Illustrations of typical homes in the 1500s and vivid descriptions of the town of Stratford, make the time period come alive for readers. Within the chapters, the author has included two page additional informational spreads on topics that students may need to k ...more
Haruna Saka
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
-Grosset&Dunlap, leaves3.0
-Time: 12/11=34min, 12/12=20min, 12/13=15min, 12/17=40min
-7 words summary: -plays-poetry-theater- "the Globe""Romeo and Juliet"-"Hamlet"-return
-Discussion Questions:
1. Which Will's work(poetry/ tragedy/ plays) do you like the best??
A. I like "Romeo and Juliet". I know it' s a kind of tragedy, and the end was really sad. However, the process to fall in love each other is my favorite! Romantic:-)
2.which Will's work(poetry/ tragedy/ plays) do you want to read or watch
Show Ukai
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
"-Grosset&Dunlap, leaves3.0
90mins in a week
7 words: plays-poetry-theater- "the Globe""Romeo and Juliet"-"Hamlet"-return
1have you read his works ever?
A. I like "Romeo and Juliet". I know it' s a kind of tragedy, and the end was really sad. However, the process to fall in love each other is my favorite! Romantic:-)
2.which Will's work(poetry/ tragedy/ plays) do you want to read or watch as a modern version??
A. I'm interested in "Hamlet" now! Actually, I heard that "Hamlet" was played in Eng
Feb 23, 2013 rated it liked it

I have been reading a book called “Who was William Shakespeare?” This book’s genre is Biography. It is about our best playwright - William Shakespeare. I like this book because I love his poems and stories. This book tells me about William Shakespeare’s life. My favorite part of this book, is when William Shakespeare write a play called “King Lear”. The play is about old King Lear who decides to give his kingdom to his three daughters. But somethings happen out of his expectation. The characters
Oct 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lillian
William Shakespeare, famous for his plays, showed perseverance in different ways. When he was young, Will had to go to school and that meant he had to rise before sunrise, eat breakfast, finish his chores and walk to school. He was at his desk at 6:00am and school ended twelve hours later at 6:00pm. The only days off were Sundays, which were market days and he helped his parents work at the market. But he liked school so he still did it. When Will was older, he liked to make plays so much, that ...more
Ashton Brandner
Mar 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Lots of people do not know much about Shakespeare, but did you know that after Queen Elizabeth died King James the 6th of Scotland took over the rule of England. Shake spear admired the queen when he was young. But when King James saw Shakespeare's play he named his acting crew the Kings Men. Shakespeare lived in the late 1500s and early 1600s, he actually survived Black Death, or the Bubonic Plauge twice as it swept through England.

I think that this is a good interesting book that holds a lot
Daiki Yamaguchi
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Grosset & Dunlap Penguin Group


5/9(Thu) 92min.

7-word summary
1.England 2.Playwright 3.Children 4.Owner 5.The Globe 6.Masterpieces 7.Mystery

Discussion Question
Q:What play that he made have you ever watched in a theater or on TV? If not, what do you want to watch?

A: Actually, I have never watched them. If I watch one of them, I will watch Romeo & Julliet.

I have known his name and his masterpieces since I was a junior high school student, but I did not know how he had spent his life
Kanna Shiota
Jun 30, 2013 rated it liked it

7words: England-words-learnd-playwright-children-tragedies-return

Discussion Question: Will's eleven-year-old son, Hammer's death came at a time when money was no longer a problem for Will. The following year, on the spring Will bought a pretty house for his family.
Which do yo think more important family (relationships) or money ?

Answer: I think relationship is more important than money. Because I do not like be lonely. I cannot do somethi
Kaleb Munro
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Who was William Shakespeare by Celeste Davidson Mannis: Is a book about William Shakespeare and his early life death and his achievements. William Shakespeare is one of the greatest playwrights of all time in this book explains it.

In my opinion William Shakespeare is kind of boring I would not want to single player face because they're very very boring I would hate every player watch from watch William Shakespeare I think the things he writes are very boring.

I recommend this book to anybody w
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Who Was William Shakespeare by Celeste Davidson Mannis is about WIlliam Shakespeare, an actor, poet, and playwright. He lived in the same time period as the Bubonic Plague. Is that how he died? How many plays did he write? Who did he marry? Find out in this awesome book! I thought that this book was very interesting. It was very informational and written so that anyone could understand William Shakespeare's life. I would recommend this book to people who like plays or are doing a biography pro ...more
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Biography 1 1 Mar 07, 2018 09:53PM  
HMSA Summer Reading: Book Review: "Who was William Shakespeare" 2 6 Aug 16, 2017 07:14PM  
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Celeste Davidson Mannis, the award winning author of several books for children, is convinced she has the best job in the world. "Writing for children is one of my greatest joys. Children are wonderfully open to new ideas. My goal is to explore aspects of our world - its people, cultures, history, and natural wonders - in a way that fuels their amazing intelligence and curiosity. Knowledge is pow
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