A few weekends ago I was chatting with my niece who is homeschooling her two kids. The older one is an avid reader of non fiction and at times you feel you are talking to a small adult. These two will be starting a unit on Shakespeare in the fall. She was concerned about the depth of reading and has decided to take it slow. Sharing bits and pieces with him. Reading aloud to him as well. A great idea I thought.
As teachers/parents we sometime jump into literature that our students can read but don’t have the life experiences to fully understand the material in front of them. She clearly was thinking about this but her course of study she was following was headed in this direction.
I knew that there are quiet a few fiction books for middle schoolers that pull Shakespeare in the story or touch on that time period. They share a bit of the history of the time and make some pretty dense reading a bit more fun. This search for books led me to Hicks mystery series. The first one is Secrets of Shakespeare’s Grave.
It is a quick read and perfect for 4th through 6th graders. The chapters are short, there is lots of quick action and brother/ sister fights that are all to familiar in families. It would make a good read aloud as well.
Colophon is twelve and loves her families publishing business. (A perfect name for one in love with publishing – colophon means a publisher’s emblem or imprint, especially one on the title page or spine of a book.) She is a reader and a lover of history. Her brother who most likely will inherit the business, as it gets passed to the oldest son, can’t stand it and wants nothing to do with it. When the story begins we learn that this business is in the middle of a family take over and it is not going to be pleasant.
How does this connect to Shakespeare? That is the mystery that unravels through clues left long ago by their Great, great, great, great grandfather, Miles Letterford.
This mystery came out in 2012 and there is a follow up titled Tower of the Five Orders. (which I am excited to read today) and a new release later this year called The Van Gogh Deception.
Here are a few other books that take us back to our friend William:
Do you know if any other books we should add to this list?