Cover image for Shakespeare's scribe
Shakespeare's scribe
Blackwood, Gary L.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
vi, 265 pages ; 22 cm
In plague-ridden 1602 England, a fifteen-year-old orphan boy, who has become an apprentice actor, goes on the road with Shakespeare's troupe, and finds out more about his parents along the way.
General Note:
Sequel to: The Shakespeare stealer.
Reading Level:
870 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.1 10.0 44828.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.9 15 Quiz: 22516 Guided reading level: W.
Format :


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X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Danger, action, and mystery swirl around our scrappy young hero, Widge, as he returns to center stage in this book. The plague has shut down the Globe Theatre--forcing the troupe to take to the road. Excitement follows Widge at every crossroads: He faces a secret from his past, a sly new apprentice threatens to steal his roles, and the road back to London is treacherous. But there is a place for Widge in the troupe--right next to Shakespeare himself, who needs Widge to assist him with a new play commissioned by the queen!Readers who relished Widge's heroics in Gary Blackwood's first novel about Shakespeare's players will be entranced yet again by a tapestry of drama, history, and nonstop high jinks. All's well that ends well in this new Elizabethan escapade.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-8. In this sequel to The Shakespeare Stealer (1998), apprentices Widge and Sander arrive at the door of the Globe Theatre and discover a notice announcing the banning of public performances. With the plague on the rise in London, the Lord Chamberlain's Men take their company on the road to look for towns where they can perform. On the way, the troupe finds uses for Widge's skills in medicine and writing, along with the acting and physical labor required for the theater. Finding a man he presumes to be his father, Widge struggles with questions of identity, slowly discovering who he is and who has become his family. As in The Shakespeare Stealer, Blackwood sweeps readers along in a fast-paced tale convincingly set in Elizabethan England. Rich language and descriptions of places, along with many details of actions contribute to a setting that goes deeper than costumes and props to genuinely reach back into the reality of another place, another time. Narrator Widge and many of the other characters emerge as memorable, complex individuals that children will want to meet again --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-In this sequel to The Shakespeare Stealer (Dutton, 1998), Widge has become a "prentice" to the Lord Chamberlain's Men, Will Shakespeare's acting troupe. Besides acting many of the female roles, the youngster uses his skills in "swift writing" to decipher Shakespeare's scribbles and provide individual scripts for each actor. When the plague closes the theatres in London, the players take to the road, but uncooperative company members, brigands, fire, and hostile officials make traveling a challenge. In addition, Widge loses some key roles to an uppity new prentice and wrestles with his emotions as he meets a man who claims to be his father. Through it all, he learns to recognize his own worth and the importance of true friends, and this, of course, is the crux of the story. As with his earlier title, Blackwood has created a vivid portrait of Elizabethan England via wonderful period details, along with plenty of references to the plays and life "upon the wicked stage." The story is extremely well structured, with several interesting subplots; the chapters end at just the right moment, leaving readers eager to plunge ahead. The characters are well developed, with Widge being particularly memorable. The dialogue is realistic, and the humorous plays on words add another level of interest. An exciting, well-written tale that is sure to leave young thespians clamoring for more.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.