The Shakespeare Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)

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9781465429872: The Shakespeare Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)

The Shakespeare Book brings the work of William Shakespeare to life with full-color photography, images, idea webs, timelines, and quotes that help you understand the context of Shakespeare's plays and poems.

From Shakespeare's most-famous plays, such as Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar, to less-frequently performed works such as King John and Henry VIII, every play of the Shakespearean canon is collected in this comprehensive guide, along with his major poems and best-loved sonnets.

In The Shakespeare Book each play includes an at-a-glance guide to story chronology, so you can easily get back on track if you get lost in Shakespeare's language. Character guides provide a handy reference for casual readers and an invaluable resource for playgoers, and students writing reports on Shakespeare.

Packed with infographics and explanations of plots and including an introduction to Shakespeare's life and times, The Shakespeare Book is the ultimate guide to understanding the work of William Shakespeare.

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From School Library Journal:

Gr 7 Up—In this latest addition to the series, the Bard comes alive for young aficionados. Beginning with an introductory biography and short analysis of William Shakespeare's continued importance, the book provides a chronological (according to the 2005 Complete Oxford Shakespeare) arrangement of plays, rather than the more customary categorical order. Each entry includes information on major themes, principal characters, act/scene breakdown, and plot synopsis, as well as material regarding the plays' sources, reputation, and impact. Enlightening sections on Shakespeare's narrative and lyric poems, as well as commentary on Sir Thomas More, a manuscript-only play containing "the only known examples of writing in Shakespeare's hand," are also included, and the text is fully indexed. Enlarged famous quotes and high-quality color photos of modern productions, historical moments, and pertinent art works elucidate the text. While Leslie Dunton-Downer's Essential Shakespeare Handbook (DK, 2004) offers a more erudite presentation and scholarly background essays on Shakespeare's life and times, this new tool is more teen-friendly in design. Although the formulaic two-page plot summaries sometimes lack important clarifying or transitional words, the uncomplicated prose and informational sidebars will be welcomed by middle and high school teachers and students seeking concise explanations of the playwright's works. VERDICT An accessible ready-reference source for secondary libraries and Shakespeare buffs alike.—Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI


"Generous helpings of illustrations, time lines, plot diagrams, and character guides ensure that even readers in their 'salad days' will enjoy every dish at the Shakespearean feast." — Booklist

"Enlightening" — YA Book Central

"In this latest addition to the series, the Bard comes alive for young aficionados." — School Library Journal

"Countless volumes have been written about William Shakespeare and his work, but here is a single volume that has organized his plays (and some of his sonnets) in exactly what the subtitle says: 'Big Ideas Simply Explained...a must-have.'" — VOYA magazine

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