The Children's Book Compass

All the World’s a Stage: A Novel in Five Acts

Posted on: August 22, 2011

 

All the World’s a Stage: A Novel in Five Acts by Gretchen Woelfle.  Illus. by Thomas Cox.  Holiday House.  Grades 6-9.  Novel/Historical Fiction.  –

This fascinating novel is based on historical events and people, like William Shakespeare.  Woelfle creates a new character, Kit Buckles, a twelve-year-old orphan who leaves behind a job as a pickpocket to become one of the skilled stagehand in Shakespeare’s theater.  The dramatic event in the story centers around the acting company’s eviction from their playhouse.  Working together the actors and stagehands secretly dismantled the theater, moved it across the Thames and reconstructed it to become the famous Globe Theatre.  During the dramas that involve the theater company, Kit discovers his passion for carpenter work.  A lively girl, Molly adds humor and colorful language to the story.  Speaking to Kit when he feels sorry for himself, Molly says, “You are like a pitiful hound, ears dragging in the dirt.  A pityhound, ‘tis what you are.”  Woelfe adds a contents list, a list of the characters, a glossary, author’s note, and bibliography to support readers.  Blac-line drawings for each act and scene will help young readers visualize the story.

 

As an introduction to this novel, build young reader’s background knowledge of Shakespeare and his plays with the picture book, All the World’s a Stage by Rebecca Davidson with illustrations by Anita Lobel

 

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