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All The World's a Stage: A Novel in Five Acts
     

All The World's a Stage: A Novel in Five Acts

by Gretchen Woelfle, Thomas Cox (Illustrator)
 
Suddenly a hand gripped the back of his neck. "Cutpurse!" Kit is caught! Twelve-year-old orphan Kit Buckles, seeking his fortune in Elizabethan London, has bungled his first job as a pickpocket at the Theatre Playhouse where the Lord Chamberlain s Men are performing. To avoid jail, Kit agrees to work for the playhouse and soon grows fond of the life there: the

Overview

Suddenly a hand gripped the back of his neck. "Cutpurse!" Kit is caught! Twelve-year-old orphan Kit Buckles, seeking his fortune in Elizabethan London, has bungled his first job as a pickpocket at the Theatre Playhouse where the Lord Chamberlain s Men are performing. To avoid jail, Kit agrees to work for the playhouse and soon grows fond of the life there: the dramas on- and offstage. Things get truly exciting when Kit joins the plot to steal the playhouse from the landlord who has evicted the company.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—This engaging tale of adventure and self-discovery in 16th-century London revolves around a true, and remarkable, historical event: the dismantling of a theater on the north side of the Thames so it could be stolen, beam by beam, and rebuilt on the south bank as the Globe Theatre. While the owner of the Globe, its master builder, and William Shakespeare are all featured as characters, the main player is scrappy Kit Buckles, a friendless orphan who tries his hand at petty thievery and bungles it. To atone for being a pickpocket, the 12-year-old goes to work as a stage boy, cleaning, delivering messages, and acting as a stand-in player. In no time he's an integral part of the company. As the drama unfolds, Kit attempts to discover his destiny; the chapter headings ("Messenger," "Apprentice," etc.) represent the various identities he tries on like costumes. The tale is well structured and interesting, and the language is infused with Shakespearean phrases sure to please fans of the Bard. An author's note recounts the facts of the Globe's construction. With its engaging characters and manageable length, this is a good pick for historical-fiction novices, and an obvious choice for kids with an interest in Shakespeare and his time.—Emma Burkhart, Springside School, Philadelphia, PA
Kirkus Reviews

A novel of Elizabethan theater centers around an unsuccessful thief. Kit is caught up in the excitement of a performance by the Lord Chamberlain's men at the Theatre. Unfortunately, he is a penniless, runaway 12-year-old orphan forced to work as a cutpurse, stealing money from audience members. Distracted by the drama, he fails in his first attempt and agrees to work for the players to avoid prison. Reluctantly, he is caught up in their hectic world of rehearsal and performance. Woelfle opens a revealing window into 1590s London and its dynamic theater scene. There are intriguing snapshots of one William Shakespeare, who finds his inspiration from street songs and conversations he overhears. Men and boys play the roles of women, sew costumes, rehearse speeches and sword fights and build sets. The scene stealer here is the intrigue behind the stealthy deconstruction of the Theatre and its rebuilding as the Globe due to a legal squabble with the landlord. Against this backdrop, Kit grapples with his own career choices, growing into the satisfying realization that carpentry is his calling. Young Molly, who sells apples in the theater, is a welcome friend and foil. Readers of Gary Blackwood's The Shakespeare Stealer (1998) will find this equally exciting. The conceit of organizing the story through acts and scenes in lieu of chapters sets the stage nicely for a dramatic tale. (author's note, glossary, bibliography; illustrations not seen) (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823422814
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
04/02/2011
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,294,343
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

Gretchen Woelfle's book for young readers Jeannette Rankin: Political Pioneer received the 2008 Once Upon a World Children's Book Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. This is her first novel. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Thomas Cox is a contributor for Holiday House Publishing, Inc. titles including All The World's A Stage.

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