Cover image for Shakespeare's spy
Shakespeare's spy
Blackwood, Gary L.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
281 pages ; 22 cm
The winter of 1602 brings many changes for Widge, a young apprentice at London's Globe Theatre, as he becomes infatuated with Shakespeare's daughter Judith, attempts to write a play, learns more about his past, endangers himself to help a friend, acquires a new identity, and finds a new purpose in life.
General Note:
Sequel to: Shakespeare's scribe.
Reading Level:
850 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.7 11.0 74074.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.2 17 Quiz: 34354 Guided reading level: V.
Format :


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Author Notes

Gary L. Blackwood sold his first story when he was nineteen, and has been writing and publishing stories, articles, plays, novels, and nonfiction books regularly ever since. His stage plays have won awards and been produced in university and regional theatre. Nonfiction subjects he's covered include biography, history, and paranormal phenomena. His juvenile novels, which include WILD TIMOTHY, THE DYING SUN , and THE SHAKESPEARE STEALER , are set in a wide range of times and places, from Elizabethan England to a parallel universe. Several have received special recognition and been translated into other languages. He and his wife and kids live outside Carthage, MO.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-8. This sequel to The Shakespeare Stealer (1998) and Shakespeare's Scribe (2000) is narrated by Widge, an orphan boy who acts with the Lord Chamberlain's Men at the Globe Theatre. Widge, at the precarious age when his changing voice jeopardizes his ability to play women's roles, becomes infatuated with an older woman, Mr. Shakespeare's daughter,udith, and begins to write plays in hopes of impressing her. Soon he proves his acting ability offstage by taking on a secret mission for his employers. Blackwood goes beyond mere costume drama here, bringing together actual people, events, and details of daily life from the period and infusing them with an Elizabethan outlook. In an appended note, Blackwood separates fact from fiction. Characters and themes from the earlier books reappear in this story, while the increasingly mature Widge grapples anew with his identity and his place in the world. With a more convincing portrayal of its period than most historical novels, this book is a solid addition to a rewarding series. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the third book in the Shakespeare Stealer series, Shakespeare's Spy by Gary Blackwood, the past seems inescapable for young theater apprentice Widge. Having been a suspect in the series' debut book when Widge was sent to steal the script for Hamlet, he again falls under suspicion with a string of thefts involving Mr. Shakespeare's scripts. The only way to clear his name is for Widge to spy on the rival company and find the real thief. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-In this newest addition to the series, the apprentice Widge becomes a spy to determine who is stealing scripts of Shakespeare's latest play from the Lord Chamberlain's Men. After a loud argument, he pretends that the playwright has dismissed him and attains an acting position with the Admiral's Men. His talent for "swift writing" enables him to crack an encoded note that identifies the culprit. While describing Widge's frenetic activities, Blackwood shows the political and religious instability that prevailed due to Queen Elizabeth's failing health. The monarch is a prime supporter of Shakespeare's dramas, and the company members wonder what their fate will be after her death. Meanwhile, they attempt to rid their plays of any reference to Papists so no one will report them to the already insecure authorities. Widge and his friends love adventure; they venture into treacherous, forbidden streets to seek a mysterious and frightening fortune-teller and they taunt one another to cross the frozen river. Readers will identify with Widge's increasing self-understanding and integrity gained from his experiences. Blackwood's well-integrated plot and intriguing subplots ensure a fast-paced tale of Elizabethan England that fans of the earlier novels will love; the author incorporates historical details from the broad political scene to the minute social scene to give authority and excitement to the story.-Susan Cooley, formerly at Tower Hill School, Wilmington, DE (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.