Tuesday, September 7, 2010

To Read, or Not to Read?

I have been a Shakespeare fan for a long time - probably since high school. Any time I see a book that uses Shakespeare in some way shape or fashion I can't help but read it. This one looked entertaining so I went for it. But that was never really in question.

“The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet"
By Erin Dionne

For ages 10 - 14
This middle school story features “mean girls,” Shakespearean scholars in full Elizabethan garb, a seven-year-old genius, a girl named Hamlet who wants nothing more than a quiet, boring year of school and a budding romance. Even in this crazy scenario Hamlet finds a way to stand out and believes in herself. It’s an enjoyable read with good character development. Rated 4 (teen situations, humor, Dali, Shakespeare)
Hamlet, except for her name, is a typical eight grade girl. She would like nothing more than a quiet, boring year of school. Of course when your parents are Shakespearean scholars who live, breathe and eat Shakespeare 24 hours a day it can be difficult to blend in. Throw in a seven-year-old sister who is a genius and will attending classes with you and your life will probably be anything but quiet.

The plot is fairly typical school story stuff with a budding romance, friendships and finding pride in one’s self. Throw in a couple “mean girls” and a strained sibling relationship and things begin to get interesting. Dionne does a wonderful job mixing humor and teen drama. The discussions of Shakespeare, Pollack and Dali keep things interesting. Hamlet’s character is well-developed and very likable. When Hamlet finds she actually has talent she learns that even in a family of extraordinary people you can find ways to stand out and be proud of yourself. This is a fun read that will be enjoyed best by middle school girls.

No comments:

Post a Comment