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Friday, August 8, 2014

Orphan boy gets job at Globe Theater, meets Shakespeare, and doesn't become a writer or actor!

Woefle, Gretchen; Cox, Thomas  All the World's a Stage:  A Novel in Five Acts  New York:  Holiday House
     So this 12 year old orphan kid named Kit Buckles works as a pickpocket for this jerk of a guy.  On one of his first big jobs, Kit bungles it and gets caught publically -- ruining his anonymity and chance of ever being a pickpocket again.  Richard Burbage, the star actor of the Globe, tells Kit he has to work off his debt. Eventually Kit finds out that he cannot go back to the pickpocketing gang, that he likes this theater work (even though he is very insecure about it and gets a lot of abuse from one or two of the other newly hired boys.)  When the Globe is nearly sold out from under the actors, Kit takes part in their desperate gamble to save it.  In so doing, Kit begin to understand how important it is for him to work at the Globe --but when a bit part on the stage doesn't go so well, Kit needs to figure out where he belongs.  Shakespeare helps him along.
     This book would be an excellent addition for third or fourth grade and up -- particularly as a way of kindling interest in Shakespeare studies that are bound to come later. The books has suspense and moves fairly well, but this realistic drama doesn't have a gunfight or a kidnapping at the end of every chapter -- so for readers who like that sort of thing, this one might not be ideal. 

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