Shakespeare: Timeless Tales, Tragic Heroes, and Fantastic Villains

Whether you loved him or hated him, it’s likely that studying the writings of William Shakespeare was a part of your education. Truly a man of global renown, Shakespeare’s plays are studied as early as elementary school and become staples of English and literature education by the time students hit high school and college. Whether you’re a teacher searching for fresh ways to present an old lesson, a parent who wants to share Shakespeare with your child, or simply a reader interested in all the ways this playwright has permeated literature, there’s a good chance the library has something for you. When searching the library catalog for teaching resources, search the phrase “study and teaching” as a subject along with “Shakespeare” as a subject. To search for non-fiction, replace “study and teaching” with “juvenile literature.” For fiction, use “juvenile fiction.”

Curriculum/Teaching Materials

Aagesen, Colleen.
Shakespeare for Kids: His Life and Times: 21 Activities. 1999.
Presents the life and works of Shakespeare. Includes activities to introduce Elizabethan times, including making costumes, making and using a quill pen, and binding a book by hand.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.822.33 BAa25]

Haddon, John.
Teaching Reading Shakespeare. 2009.
Teaching Reading Shakespeare is for secondary teachers who want to help their classes overcome the very real difficulties they experience when they have to “do” Shakespeare.
[Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library 822.33 DH1174]

Nelson, Pauline.
Starting with Shakespeare: Successfully Introducing Shakespeare to Children. 2000.
William Shakespeare comes alive for students with these engaging activities. This book introduces four plays: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Macbeth,” “Hamlet,” and “Romeo and Juliet.” Complete scripts are accompanied by materials and activities that span the curriculum.
[SSHEL Curriculum CURR. 822.33 TEAIP2000]

National Endowment for the Arts.
Shakespeare in American Communities [kit]. 2004.
Intended audience: middle and high school students. Special materials to greatly enrich the teaching of Shakespeare in the classroom.
[SSHEL Curriculum KIT 822.33 NAEA2004]


William Shakespeare and The Globe. 1999.
Tells the story of the well-known playwright, William Shakespeare, and of the famous Globe Theatre in which many of his works were performed.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’’s Books Q. SB. S527a]

Elgin, Kathy.
Crime and Punishment. 2005.
Describes crime and punishment in 16th and 17th century England, and connects these problems to works written by famous playwright William Shakespeare. Includes timeline.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.822.33 El35c]

Morley, Jacqueline.
A Shakespearean Theater. 2003.
This title takes a captivating look at the theaters of Shakespeare’s time, including an in-depth look at the Globe Theater. The origins of theater are introduced, as well as background information about the people who performed in them and those who were entertained in them.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.792.0942 M827s]

Rosen, Michael.
Shakespeare: His Work and His World. 2001.
Learn what theatre was like when Shakespeare created and acted in his plays. With dramatic illustrations by Robert Ingpen, the fluid text is sprinkled with Shakespearean quotations to re-create the Bard’s world of kings and queens, fairies and potions, and bloody beheadings. This sweeping account is a biography, a history, and a retelling of some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays — all in one approachable volume.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SB. S527r]

Ryan, Patrick.
Shakespeare’s Storybook: Folk Tales that Inspired the Bard. 2001.
Did you know that Shakespeare took inspiration for many of his plays from folk tales, ballads, and fairy tales? In this stunning collection, professional storyteller Patrick Ryan has brought together the traditional stories that are at the heart of seven of Shakespeare’s masterpieces, including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and King Lear.
[SSHEL S Collection S.822.33 R957s]

Stanley, Diane.
Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare. 1992.
A brief biography of the world’s most famous playwright, using only historically correct information.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books Q. S.822.33 BS788]

Turk, Ruth.
The Play’s the Thing: A Story About William Shakespeare. 1998.
Traces the life of the famous English writer, from his childhood and schooling in Stratford-on-Avon, through his successful career as actor and playwright in London, to his death in 1616.
[SSHEL S Collection SB. S527t]

Picture Books

Bailey, Gerry.
Shakespeare’s Quill. 2008.
Shakespeare’s quill is discovered in a shop stall in a busy street market. The owner, Mr. Rummage, relates the biography of the great playwright to young Digby and Hannah. The story brings Shakespeare’s plays and characters into a modern setting encouraging involvement through drama and dress up.
[SSHEL S Collection S. B1522sh]

Coville, Bruce.
William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. 1994. [SSHEL S Collection S. C838w]
William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 1996. [SSHEL Oak Street Q. S.822.33 C819w]
William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. 1997. [SSHEL S Collection Q. S. C838wm]
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. 1999. {SSHEL Oak Street Q. S.822.33 C838wi]
William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. 2003. [SSHEL S Collection Q. S. C838h]
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. 2004. [SSHEL S Collection Q. S. C838wi]
William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. 2007. [SSHEL S Collection Q. S. C838wt]

Rogers, Gregory.
The Boy, The Bear, The Baron, The Bard. 2004.
A boy playing among the warehouses of London kicks a soccer ball into an abandoned theater. There he finds an enchanted cape that transports him back in time right onto the stage of one of William Shakespeare’s plays!
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books Q. SE. R631b]

Intermediate and Young Adult Fiction

Blackwood, Gary.
The Shakespeare Stealer. 1998.
A young orphan boy is ordered by his master to infiltrate Shakespeare’s acting troupe in order to steal the script of “Hamlet,” but he discovers instead the meaning of friendship and loyalty.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S. B568s]
Shakespeare’s Scribe. 2000. [The Center for Children’s Books S. B568ss]
Shakespeare’s Spy. 2003. [SSHEL S Collection S. B568sh]

Broach, Elise.
Shakespeare’s Secret. 2005.
Named after a character in a Shakespeare play, misfit sixth-grader Hero becomes interested in exploring this unusual connection because of a valuable diamond supposedly hidden in her new house, an intriguing neighbor, and the unexpected attention of the most popular boy in school.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S. B781s]

Hand, Elizabeth.
Illyria. 2010.
Madeleine and Rogan are first cousins, best friends, twinned souls, each other’s first love. Even within their large, disorderly family (all descendants of a famous actress) their intensity and passion for theater sets them apart. It makes them a little dangerous. When they are cast in their school’s production of Twelfth Night, they are forced to face their separate talents and futures, and their future together.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S. H19129i2010; Uni High Fiction H191i ]

Hassinger, Peter.
Shakespeare’s Daughter. 2004.
Susanna Shakespeare yearns to travel to London like her father, to experience the world of actors and poets and to follow her own dream of singing, a path usually followed only by men.
[SSHEL S Collection S. H278s]

Klein, Lisa.
Love Disguised. 2013.
After a mixed-up courtship with the Hathaway sisters ends badly, eighteen-year-old Will Shakespeare jumps at the chance to go to London, where he can pursue his dream of becoming an actor and where he is about to meet the girl who will change his life forever.
[SSHEL S Collection S. K6721l]

Lawlor, Laurie.
The Two Loves of Will Shakespeare. 2006.
After falling in love, eighteen-year-old Will Shakespeare, a bored apprentice in his father’s glove business and often in trouble for various misdeeds, vows to live an upstanding life and pursue his passion for writing.
[SSHEL S Collection S. L427t]

Lester, Julius.
Othello: A Novel. 1995.
A prose retelling of Shakespeare’s play in which a jealous general is duped into thinking that his wife has been unfaithful, with tragic consequences.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S.L567O]

McKeown, Adam.
Othello. 2005. [SSHEL S Collection S. M199o]
Julius Caesar. 2008. [SSHEL S Collection S. M199j]

Mingle, Pamela.
Kissing Shakespeare. 2012.
Although her parents are renowned Shakespearean actors, Miranda’s performance in a school play is disastrous but before she can get away to hide, Stephen, a cast mate, whisks her to sixteenth century England to meet–and save–the young Will Shakespeare.
[SSHEL S Collection S. M6636k]

Schmidt, Gary D.
The Wednesday Wars. 2007.
During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker’s classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S. Sch53w]

Taub, Melinda.
Still Star-Crossed. 2013.
After the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, mysterious figures in Verona are determined to reignite the feud between the Montagues and Capulets, so, for the sake of peace, the Prince orders Romeo’s best friend Benvolio to marry Juliet’s cousin Rosaline.
[SSHEL S Collection S. T19s]

Woelfle, Gretchen.
All the World’s a Stage: A Novel in Five Acts. 2011.
Twelve-year-old orphan Christopher “Kit” Buckles becomes a stage boy in a London theater in 1598, tries his hand at acting, and later helps build the Globe Theater for playwright William Shakespeare and the Chamberlain’s Men acting troupe.
[SSHEL S Collection S. W82a]