Cover image for William Shakespeare's Hamlet
William Shakespeare's Hamlet
Coville, Bruce.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Retells, in simplified prose, William Shakespeare's play about a prince of Denmark who seeks revenge for his father's murder.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.5 1.0 77929.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR2878.H3 C68 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PR2878.H3 C68 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PR2878.H3 C68 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PR2878.H3 C68 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Enhanced with brilliant illustrations, an adaptation of the classic Shakespearian play, with important lines incorporated from the play, provides readers with the tragic tale of the Prince of Denmark.

Author Notes

Bruce Coville was born in Syracuse, New York, on May 16, 1950. He spent one year at Duke University in North Carolina. Coville started working seriously at becoming a writer when he was seventeen. He was not able to start selling stories right away, so he had many other jobs, including toymaker, gravedigger, cookware salesman, and assembly line worker. Eventually, Coville became an elementary teacher, and worked with second and fourth graders.

Coville married Katherine Dietz an artist, and they began trying to create books together. It wasn't until 1977 that they finally sold their first book, The Foolish Giant. They joined together on two other books after that, Sarah's Unicorn and The Monster's Ring, and followed them with Goblins in the Castle, Aliens Ate My Homework, and The World's Worst Fairy Godmother.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-8. Retelling Hamlet as a coherent story is no mean feat, but this handsome edition achieves it with grace and style. Unlike those retellers who fall into the trap of stringing famous passages together with bridges of stark prose, Coville conveys the mood and movement of the play as well as its characters and plot. The writing includes some Shakespearean language, but incorporates it smoothly into the story. With plenty of white space, a good-size type, and at least one large, shadowy illustration on each double-page spread, this large-format book's design is sophisticated yet accessible to middle-grade children. Gore's sensitive acrylic and pastel artwork, dark and richly atmospheric, suggests the players and the action without defining too much. Like Coville's previous retellings of Shakespeare, this is a fine introduction to a quintessential play. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2004 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Coville's knack for making Shakespeare's tales accessible reaches new heights in this prose retelling of the Bard's best-known play. Not only is the text incredibly faithful to the original, but the language that surrounds the quoted dialogue is also amazingly rich. As the author's note explains, all of the elements of a compelling epic are here: "ghosts, murder, madness, and revenge," and Coville gives youngsters the opportunity "to experience Hamlet as story" before exploring the depths of its poetic language and its intensity as a staged drama. His carefully chosen words suit the mood of the haunting tragedy and bring about the desired emotional effect in readers. For instance, the ghost that appears to the soldiers standing guard is described as "a spectral shade whose chill, silent presence struck fear into their hearts." Done predominately in shades of blue and orange, Gore's acrylic-and-pastel artwork underscores the sharp contrast between the protagonist's periods of brooding and his angry outbursts. While the facial features are not particularly distinctive, the mood of the play is reinforced by the overall tone of the illustrations and by the artist's masterful use of shadow. The texture of the paintings, which allows the lines of the figures to both blend into and protrude from their backgrounds, provides a visual sense of Hamlet's indecisiveness. This is a gem for all collections, a surefire way of introducing middle and perhaps even high school scholars to the glories of Shakespeare's genius.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.