That Shakespeare Kid

ISBN-10: 1489598227

ISBN-13: 9781489598226

Edition: N/A

Authors: Michael LoMonico

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Middle school student Emma Malcolm narrates this appealing young adult fantasy. She describes herself and her neighbor Peter Marlowe as nerds, but "happy nerds." They live on Long Island, going to school and coming home to normal lives. Yet one day as they are doing their homework, an accident changes everything-Peter suddenly becomes unable to speak modern English.The accident is brought on by bad judgment. Emma and Peter are assigned Act I of Romeo and Juliet to read, and Peter wants to see a clearer copy than his tattered schoolbook holds. So he climbs up onto a chair in his mother's study to retrieve her heavy Riverside Shakespeare. Just as he tugs on it, the chair moves and the book hits him on the head. When Peter comes to, he can speak only in lines from Shakespeare.As hard as Peter tries to speak for himself, his words come out as Shakespeare's own. His strange speech irritates Emma at the school bus stop and embarrasses her in the baseball stadium. He is sent to the principal and the school psychologist for acting up-no one seems to realize that Peter would cheerfully speak modern English if only he could.Luckily, he understands contemporary English despite being unable to speak it. His family believes that he is faking, at least at first. Emma thinks so, too, but she soon realizes that he cannot help himself. However, when he discovers that he can text and instant message in modern English, Emma becomes his translator.English is Peter's favorite class, and Ms. Hastings is his favorite teacher. Instead of lecturing, she has her class recite Shakespeare's words. Her methods make Shakespeare user friendly, and the once-intimidated class relaxes and begins to speak his language. The students realize that Shakespearean English is just another form of communication, like texting.Ms. Hastings decides to guide the class even further into Shakespeare's world. She determines to help them put on the 30-Minute version of Romeo and Juliet. Peter and Emma will be the leads, the play's star-crossed lovers-after all, Romeo and Juliet were about their age. Emma has never kissed a boy, and she realizes that she is about to experience her first kiss in front of the whole school. While the play is in the rehearsal stage, a newspaper reporter interviews Peter and his parents, and the resulting article makes Peter a local celebrity. Then a classmate makes a video of Peter speaking Shakespeare's words and it goes viral. Peter and Emma are invited to appear on the Today Show. Peter greets America with the words, "Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you." Appearing on the show turns out to be more exciting than expected, especially when the interview ends with a romantic surprise for Emma.Finally, it is time for the play to begin. The leading actors perform their scenes flawlessly, and at last they kiss. Romeo and Juliet turns out to have a plot twist, at least for Peter and Emma.This engaging comedy introduces Shakespeare's language gracefully, making it part of a light and charming fantasy about language and first love.
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Book details

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication date: 10/22/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 160
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.814
Language: English

Michael LoMonico has taught Shakespeare to many eager teachers and to quite a few intimidated students. His experiences have taught him that every student, whatever his or her degree of education, needs to be introduced to Shakespeare's language gently. Michael is currently the Senior Consultant on National Education for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. His books include The Shakespeare Book of Lists, Shakespeare 101, and That Shakespeare Kid. He was an assistant to the editor for the curriculum section of all three volumes of the Folger's Shakespeare Set Free series, published by Washington Square Press. He was also the technical editor of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Shakespeare.He has taught Shakespeare courses and workshops for students and teachers in thirty-six states, in Canada and England, and digitally in South Africa and Russia. After teaching high school English for thirty-three years he brought his expertise to future teachers at Stony Brook University. His goal is to change the way that Shakespeare is taught in this country.

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