Romeo and Juliet - Together (and Alive!) at Last

Overview

Pete Saltz, the pudgy poet from S.O.R. Losers, has fallen hard for Anabell Stackpoole, and she likes him, too. But both are much too shy to do anything about it.

It's Pete's friend Ed Sitrow to the rescue, as he and other eighth-graders at South Orange River School cook up a scheme to give the budding romance a boost. The school production of Romeo and Juliet stars the bashful pair in the leading roles — and everybody's waiting for the kissing scenes. What they get is more ...

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Overview

Pete Saltz, the pudgy poet from S.O.R. Losers, has fallen hard for Anabell Stackpoole, and she likes him, too. But both are much too shy to do anything about it.

It's Pete's friend Ed Sitrow to the rescue, as he and other eighth-graders at South Orange River School cook up a scheme to give the budding romance a boost. The school production of Romeo and Juliet stars the bashful pair in the leading roles — and everybody's waiting for the kissing scenes. What they get is more action than Shakespeare ever imagined, in the funniest, most disastrous...and most romantically successful production ever!

The eighth grade's plan to get two reluctant "lovers" together by means of a classroom production of Shakespeare's play has some very unexpected results.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ed discovers that his best friend Saltz is nursing a secret love for Anabell Stackpoole and gets the rest of the other eighth graders to rewrite and produce their version of Romeo and Juliet. They wangle the leading roles for Saltz and Stackpoole, and let romance run its course. Avi's heart is in the right place; he devotes an entire book to the well-intentioned efforts of a group of good friends to bring a boy and girl together, but fans of his historical fiction may find this a light repast. The story strains credibility, but no matter; Avi proves that stories don't have to be believable to be fun. A Richard Jackson Book. Ages 11-13. (September)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380705252
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1988
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Avi

Avi is the author of more than sixty books, including Crispin: The Cross of Lead, a Newbery Medal winner, and Crispin: At the Edge of the World. His other acclaimed titles include The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing But the Truth, both Newbery Honor Books, and most recently The Seer of Shadows. He lives with his family in Colorado.

Biography

Born in Manhattan in 1937, Avi Wortis grew up in Brooklyn in a family of artists and writers. Despite his bright and inquisitive nature, he did poorly in school. After several academic failures, he was diagnosed with a writing impairment called dysgraphia which caused him to reverse letters and misspell words. The few writing and spelling skills he possessed he had gleaned from his favorite hobby, reading -- a pursuit enthusiastically encouraged in his household.

Following junior high school, Avi was assigned to a wonderful tutor whose taught him basic skills and encouraged in him a real desire to write. "Perhaps it was stubbornness," he recalled in an essay appearing on the Educational Paperback Association's website, "but from that time forward I wanted to write in some way, some form. It was the one thing everybody said I could not do."

Avi finally learned to write, and well! He attended Antioch University, graduated from the University of Wisconsin, and received a master's degree in library science from Columbia in 1964. He worked as a librarian for the New York Public Library's theater collection and for Trenton State College, and taught college courses in children's literature, while continuing to write -- mostly plays -- on the side. In the 1970s, with two sons of his own, he began to craft stories for children. "[My] two boys loved to hear stories," he recalled. "We played a game in which they would give me a subject ('a glass of water') and I would have to make up the story right then. Out of that game came my first children's book, Things That Sometimes Happen." A collection of "Very Short Stories for Little Listeners," Avi's winning debut received very positive reviews. "Sounding very much like the stories that children would make up themselves," raved Kirkus Reviews, "these are daffy and nonsensical, starting and ending in odd places and going sort of nowhere in the middle. The result, however, is inevitably a sly grin."

Avi has gone on to write dozens of books for kids of all ages. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1991) and Nothing but the Truth (1992) were named Newbery Honor Books, and in 2003, he won the prestigious Newbery Medal for his 14th-century adventure tale, Crispin: The Cross of Lead. His books range from mysteries and adventure stories to historical novels and coming-of-age tales; and although there is often a strong moral core to his work, he leavens his message with appealing warmth and humor. Perhaps his philosophy is summed up best in this quote from his author profile on Scholastic's website: "I want my readers to feel, to think, sometimes to laugh. But most of all I want them to enjoy a good read."

Good To Know

In a Q&A with his publisher, Avi named Robert Louis Stevenson as one of his greatest inspirations, noting that "he epitomizes a kind of storytelling that I dearly love and still read because it is true, it has validity, and beyond all, it is an adventure."

When he's not writing, Avi enjoys photography as one of his favorite hobbies.

Avi got his unique nickname from his twin sister, Emily..

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    1. Also Known As:
      Avi Wortis (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 23, 1937
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Pete Saltz and I have been best friends for as long as I can remember. At South Orange River Middle School, eighth grade, we sit, eat lunch, and do weekends together. If I'm not at his house, he's at mine. Close as a pair of crossed eyes. There isn't much I don't know about him. At least that's what I thought.

Turned out Saltz had a secret.

One nice warm spring day we were heading home from school, and Saltz wasn't saying much. Normally, he has the fastest mouth this side of Nervous Purvis, a local radio DJ we like to hear. And I had been talking about Albert Hamilton.

Hamilton is the worst kind of bully: he's great at almost everything — grades, sports, and if the girls tell me true, looks. People wouldn't mind except Hamilton makes sure you know it. The way he sees it, he's God's gift to himself.

As far as I know he has only one flaw: the guy is a pyromaniac. Fire fascinates him. Give him a barn fire, a matchbook, a firecracker, and he's in a world of his own.

I was talking about Hamilton's attempts to build bigger, better firecrackers in science lab when I realized Saltz hadn't said anything for five minutes. Then, when we reached his place, be just said, "See ya," and drifted toward his front door.

"Hey!" I called, only then sensing that things weren't right. "What's up? You mad at me?"

Saltz stopped. "You wouldn't understand," he said.

"What wouldn't I understand?"

"Nothing."

"How can I not understand nothing? Do you understand?"

"No," he admitted.

"How about giving me a try," I coaxed. His hand was on the doorknob.

"It's just . His voice trailedoff.

"Hey, I'm your best friend, remember?"

After a moment he let go of the door. But he didn't say anything; he just sat down on his front steps.

"Mat," he said, "do you think of Anabell Stackpoole?"

"Stackpoole?" I said, surprised. She's a girl in our class.

"Yeah," he said, "Anabell Stackpoole." His facial expression reminded me of how my dog looks when we're about to go off for a day at the beach and he knows he's staying home.

"What about her?" I said.

"I...I like her."

"Since when?"

He thought hard. "Two days ago."

"What happened then?"'.

He shrugged. "Just...happened."

"She like you?"

He shook his head. "She doesn't even notice me."

"You try talking to her?"

Now his look suggested how stupid I was.

"Want me to talk to her?"

Panic crept into his eyes.

"Okay. What are you going to do about it?"

He struggled for an answer. What he came up with was "I wrote a poem about her."

I wasn't surprised. Saltz was our poet, a kind of local Shakespeare. "Can I see it?" I asked.

From out of his portable bag of junk he hauled a spiral notebook. The spiral was half off, like a worm desperately seeking air.

Finding a sheet of ruled paper with words set between the wrinkles, he handed it over. This is what he had written:

There once was a fair beauty named Anabell
For whom Pete Saltz, truly, in love fell.
But when he offered his heart,
She jumped up with a start,
And said, "I have to go now because I just
heard the end-of-the-class-bell."


I looked from Saltz to the poem, then back to him, until it fully hit me: Saltz was in love!

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2007

    A reviewer

    Romeo and Juliet Together (and Alive!) at Last is mostly about a school play in the 8th grade. The main characters are Pete Saltz and Anabell Stackpoole. At the beginning of the story it starts when auditions are up and students are nervous, worrying about which part they are going to get. The school play is ¿Romeo and Juliet.¿ Mrs. Bacon is in charge of the school play. Anabell auditions for Juliet, and Pete auditions for Romeo. Pete has a big crush on Anabell. So much drama happens in this story that it reminded me when I was in the 3rd grade play. Most of the action happens in South Orange River Middle School. This book would be a great for people that like to be in plays. Will Pete and Anabell kiss? Find out in Romeo and Juliet Together (and Alive!) at Last.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2007

    romeo and juliet

    Romeo and Juliet Together (and Alive!) at Last is mostly about a school play in the 8th grade. The main characters are Pete Saltz and Anabell Stackpoole. At the beginning of the story it starts when auditions are up and students are nervous, worrying about which part they are going to get. The school play is ¿Romeo and Juliet.¿ Mrs. Bacon is in charge of the school play. Anabell auditions for Juliet, and Pete auditions for Romeo. Pete has a big crush on Anabell. So much drama happens in this story that it reminded me when I was in the 3rd grade play. Most of the action happens in South Orange River Middle School. This book would be a great for people that like to be in plays. Will Pete and Anabell kiss? Find out in Romeo and Juliet Together (and Alive!) at Last.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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