All Things Austenesque

In celebration of a beloved author’s birthday this December we are rejoicing in all things Jane Austen to commemorate her legendary oeuvre and birthday. Austen was born on December 16, 1775, and her books remain a staple in classic literature and have become a foundation for retellings galore. From Clueless to Bridget Jones’s Diary, this month we want to give a spotlight to all adaptations and retellings of Jane Austen’s work. This post will feature picture books on the life of Jane Austen, manga, middle grade novels, and young adult fiction.

Carbone, Courtney.
Darcy Swipes Left. 2016. Young Adult.
Have you ever wondered how Mr. Darcy would text? Look no further at this clever modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice where Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy have social media and smartphones and a love story arises between them. Find yourself giggling at the text messages of Mr. Bennet and prepare yourself for a novel where all the characters text each other with emojis, take selfies, and update their relationship statuses.
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Eulberg, Elizabeth.
Prom & Prejudice. 2011. Young Adult.
Eulberg’s spin on Pride and Prejudice is based on Lizzie Bennet who attended the prestigious high school of Longbourn Academy on a scholarship. When all the girls at the academy are becoming enthralled about the prospect of prom, Lizzie does not seem interested in the designer dresses or shoes. However, Lizzie’s best friend Jane is excited due to Charles Bingley being back from a semester in London. Lizzie is happy about Jane’s prospective romance with Bingley although Lizzie cannot find it in herself to like Will Darcy, a boy she finds to be a pretentious, snobby jerk. Even though she finds Darcy to be a pompous jerk, why does she seem so drawn to him?
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Frederick, Heather Vogel.
Pies & Prejudice. 2010. Young Adult.
Right before the start of her freshman year Emma unexpectedly moves to England. Emma’s life becomes a whirlwind when the mother-daughter book club is faced with a challenge. However, the resourcefulness of all the friends in the book club finds a way to continue meeting and discussing Jane Austen’s, Pride and Prejudice, a fitting parallel to Emma’s life. The novel centers around four childhood best friends Emma, Jess, Megan, and Cassidy. Told through each of the fifteen-year-old girls’ perspectives, Frederick takes you on a journey of teen romance, growing pains, responsibility, and issues that come with growing up. Each reader will come away with a character they relate to the most and through Frederick’s clever writing she blends the life of Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice beautifully and ties it all together in the mother-daughter book club.
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Going, K.L.
The Next Great Jane. 2020. Middle Grade.
Meet Jane Brennan, a girl that wants nothing more than to become a famous author like Jane Austen. All she needs to do? Figure out how to be a literary success, of course! Her chances of figuring out how increase when J.E. Fairfax visits her hometown of Whickett Harbor, Maine. However, when a hurricane rolls in Jane ends up stuck with the author’s snobby son named Devon and, worst of all, her mother Susan and her mother’s fiancé Erik have flown from Hollywood to Maine to file custody and ship Jane off to California. All she needs to do now is find her marine biologist dad a romantic partner and figure out what is the most important thing to her about Whickett Harbor to convince her mother she is meant to stay in Maine.
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Harrison, Cora
Illustrator: Hellard, Susan
I was Jane Austen’s Best Friend. 2010. Young Adult.
Timid Jenny Cooper is sent to stay with her cousin Jane Austen. Jenny does not know the world of dresses, dances, gossip, and romance that Jane seems all too familiar with. Amid her visit Jenny falls madly in love with the dashing Captain Thomas Williams and who better to help her with the heart of the man than Jane? But will that all be possible when Jenny has been keeping a desperate secret? If this secret were to leak it would bring a huge scandal to the doorstep of not only hers but the entire Austen family and what is an orphan girl meant to do in this predicament? Cora Harrison explores the fictional life of a young Jane Austen in this novel and balances between fictional and true elements on the author’s life as a teen based on biographies, critical studies, and family letters.
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King, Stacy
Artist: Po, Tse
Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice. 2014. Graphic Novel.
In Pride & Prejudice we get a peek into the lives of the Bennet household with five daughters and no male heirs. Excitement ensues when an eligible bachelor visits the nearby estate. In this charming adaptation by Stacy King and illustrator Tse Po, the wonderful tale of Pride & Prejudice is told through manga. The illustrations are beautiful and retain all the narrative elements of the original classic with a twist. This graphic novel is a wonderful way to introduce readers to a beloved tale through sumptuous illustrations and storytelling.
S.741.5973 K5801p

King, Stacy
Artist: Po, Tse
Manga Classics: Sense & Sensibility. 2016. Graphic Novel.
In Jane Austen’s first novel two sisters, Marianne and Elinor Dashwood, are true opposites where Marianne is impulsive and Elinor is cautious. When Marianne and Elinor’s father passes away both sisters are overcome with the grief and financial strain of their father’s passing. Both sisters move to a cottage in Devonshire where they battle love affairs with Edward Ferrars and John Willoughby. Follow the two sisters in a story filled with romance, social critique, and redemption in this modern manga adaptation.
S.741.5973 K5801s

MacColl, Michaela
Secrets in the Snow: a Novel of Intrigue and Romance. 2016. Young Adult
Michaela MacColl brings us a historical fiction story centered around Jane Austen. Jane Austen’s family is eager to marry her off to secure her future. However, Jane has other plans including drafting her novels and finds no interest in any of the male suitors that come her way, that is until Mr. Lefroy enters the picture, and she struggles between choosing her family or true love.
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Sánchez Vegara, Ma Isabel (María Isabel)
Illustrator: Wilson, Katie
Jane Austen. 2018. Picture Book.
This picture book tells the biographical tale of Jane Austen, exploring her childhood in the English countryside, being born into a large family with seven siblings, and the heartbreak that she experienced that led to the creation and inspiration for Pride & Prejudice. Told through quirky illustrations it also features extra facts at the end, and includes a biographical timeline accompanied with historical images and an author profile. Little People, Big Dreams picture book series is perfect for babies and toddlers due to its narration being told through simple sentences that will inspire even the youngest of readers.
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Shulman, Polly
Enthusiasm. 2006. Young Adult.
Julie and Ashleigh, best friends, high school sophomores, and Jane Austen fans, both seem to have fallen for the same Mr. Darcy type boy and struggle to hide their true feelings from one another. Enthusiasm brings out themes of self-discovery, familial relationships, teenage feelings in boys, and creativity. Any Jane Austen fan will adore this sweet tale on friendship and trying to find your own Mr. Darcy.
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Smith, Rebecca
Where’s Jane? 2018. Picture Book.
In this beautiful, illustrated book readers are introduced to Jane Austen’s regency and Georgian-era world. Children can spot the main characters of the famous novels such as Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Sense & Sensibility, etc. The reader can first read the snappy synopsis of the story, explore key stages of the narrative as you meet the main characters, and next, as you peruse through the gorgeous illustrations, try searching for the main characters and elusive author through the expansive and buzzing artwork.

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Taslim, Priyanka
The Love Match. 2023. Young Adult.
The Love Match, a Jane Austen meet Bengali cinema mashup, follows teenager Zahra Kahn who’s amma (mother) believes she needs to find a good match, Jane Austen style. Which leads to her mother setting her up with handsome and wealthy eighteen-year-old Harun. However, Zahra feels a much deeper connection with her coworker Nayim. When Zahra and Harun decide to fake-date to appease their parents, trouble ensues when Zahra’s feelings begin to get mixed up.
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Watson, Kate (Katherine)
Off Script. 2020. Young Adult
Off Script is a Jane Austen retelling of Emma centered around nineteen-year-old actress Emma Crawford whose favorite job is to play matchmaker to her friends. Although, after reuniting with Liam Price and discovering the darker sides of Hollywood, she begins to question the glamorous world she has always known.
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Classics Retold & Continued

Classic literature contains universal themes and often continues to influence writers and readers alike. The stories below retell classic literature for children and adults, continuing the story, mixing fantasy and realism, fleshing out characters, and exposing new ideas. Some tales never go out of style.


Baker, Chandler.
Teen Frankenstein. 2016.
Tori Frankenstein, teen genius, causes a horrible accident that results in the death of a teen boy — and she’s prepared to keep it a secret. There’s only one thing to do: use her scientific knowledge to bring the boy back to life.
[SSHEL S Collection S. B1711t]

Oppel, Kenneth.
This Dark Endeavor. 2011
When his twin brother falls ill in the family’s chateau in the independent republic of Geneva in the eighteenth century, sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein embarks on a dangerous and uncertain quest to create the forbidden Elixir of Life described in an ancient text in the family’s secret Biblioteka Obscura. The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series continues in Such Wicked Intent.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Op5t]

Salomon, Peter Adam.
Henry Franks. 2012
While a serial killer stalks his small Georgia town, sixteen-year-old Henry tries to find the truth about the terrible accident that robbed him of his mother and his memories, aided by his friend Justine but not by his distant father.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. Sa364h]

The Works of Jane Austen

Eulberg, Elizabeth. 
Prom and Prejudice. 2011
For Lizzie Bennett, a music scholarship student at Connecticut’s exclusive, girls-only Longbourn Academy, the furor over prom is senseless, but even more puzzling is her attraction to the pompous Will Darcy, best friend of her roommate’s boyfriend.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Eu52p]

LaZebnik, Claire.
The Trouble with Flirting. 2013
Loosely based on Jane Austen’s “Mansfield Park,” relates high school junior Franny’s summer at Mansfield College in Portland, Oregon, where she helps her aunt sew costumes for an acting program and gets caught between the boy she likes and the one who likes her.
[SSHEL S Collection S. L458t]

Rushton, Rosie.
The Dashwood Sisters’ Secrets of Love. 2005
The Walker sisters have always lived a privileged life in their beloved Holly House in Sussex. Even though their father, Max Walker, has left the family to live with his new macrobiotic-food-obsessed trophy wife, Pandora, he has always doted on his girls. But then one day, reality crashes down around them when Max has a heart attack and passes away, uncovering the truth that he was knee deep in debt. The Walkers discover that their home is actually in Pandora’s name and she decides she wants it back. So the family has to uproot their lives and move to the seaside town of Norfolk in an old cottage.
[SSHEL S Collection S. R896d]

Shulman, Polly.
Enthusiasm. 2006
Julie and Ashleigh, high school sophomores and Jane Austen fans, seem to fall for the same Mr. Darcy-like boy and struggle to hide their true feelings from one another while rehearsing for a school musical.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Sh926e]

Peter Pan

Barry, Dave.
Peter and the Starcatchers. 2004
When orphaned Peter sets sail on the ship Never Land, he never expected to meet Molly, a young starcatcher, and join those trying to guard the magical stardust from greedy pirates. Continued in sequels Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, and Peter and the Sword of Mercy.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. B279p]

Hart, James V.
Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth. 2005
In the original story of Peter Pan, Captain Hook’s past is briefly hinted at; “he had been at a famous public school.” This is the story of Hook at that school and how he became a pirate king afterwards.
[SSHEL S Collection S. H251c]

Levine, Gail Carson.
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg. 2005
A new fairy has arrived in Never Land, just in time for a catastrophic event. Can Prilla, the fairy without a talent, rescue Mother Dove’s egg and save Never Land’s magic?
[SSHEL S Collection S.L578fa]

McCaughrean, Geraldine.
Peter Pan in Scarlet. 2006
It’s 1930 and Neverland is in danger. Wendy and the Lost Boys must help Peter Pan to save Neverland and stop the terrible nightmares which are leaking out into the real world.
[SSHEL S Collection S. M128p]

Nayeri, Daniel and Dina.
Another Pan. 2010
While attending an elite prep school where their father is a professor, Wendy and John Darling discover a book which opens the door to other worlds, to Egyptian myths long thought impossible, and to the home of an age-old darkness.
[SSHEL S Collection S. N231an]

Wallace, Karen.
Wendy. 2004
This novel explores Wendy’s unhappy life before the coming of Peter Pan.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. W155w]

Pied Piper of Hamlin

DeKeyser, Stacy.
The Brixen Witch. 2012
Twelve-year-old Rudi stumbles upon a witch’s lair while out hunting, takes a gold coin he finds there but loses it again, then must deal with the witch’s servant who promises to end the town’s rat infestation only if he receives that gold coin, in a story reminiscent of The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. D3695b]

Pratchett, Terry.
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. 2001
The clever Maurice, a cat, with the help of a boy and some rats, con town after town until they are faced with an evil rat king and have to reconsider what they value most.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. P887a]

Stone, David Lee.
The Ratastrophe Catastrophe. 2004
This satirical retelling of the Pied Piper features a simple shepherd boy who has been possessed by evil magic, a group of well-intentioned but misfit mercenaries, and a foolish duke. Continued in The Illmoor Chronicles.
[SSHEL S Collection S. St713r]

Skurzynski, Gloria.
What Happened in Hamelin. 1979
This fictionalized history of the Pied Piper attempts to place the story in its historical setting and explain the characters’ motives and the true, tragic fate of the children of Hamelin.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. Sk67W]

Weatherill, Cat.
Wild Magic. 2008
Mari and her brother Jakob join the other children of Hamelin as they follow the Pied Piper into a world of wild magic, where they will remain until the fearsome Beast identifies the child chosen to free him from a centuries-old curse.
[SSHEL S Collection S. W3786w]

Robin Hood

Cadnum, Michael.
Forbidden Forest: The Story of Little John and Robin Hood. 2002
Profiles Little John, from his quiet life before joining Robin Hood through his adventures protecting a beautiful lady when she is wrongfully accused of murdering her husband.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. C114f]

Cody, Matthew.
Will in Scarlet. 2013
In the late 1100s, thirteen-year-old Will, the future Lord of Shackley, is exiled to Sherwood Forest, where he meets Robin Hood and the Merry Men and bands with them to try retake Shackley Castle.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S.C649w]

Furlong, Monica.
Robin’s Country. 1995
The story of Robin Hood is retold from the point of view of a small boy, nicknamed Dummy, who flees to Sherwood to escape a cruel master.
[SSHEL S Collection S. F979r]

McKinley, Robin.
Outlaws of Sherwood. 1988
This retelling of Robin Hood focuses on the characters and their various motivations and lives.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. M215o]

Pyle, Howard.
Howard Pyle’s Robin Hood. 2008
Robin Hood is redone as a graphic novel in this adaptation by Joe Dunn illustrated by Ben Dunn.
[SSHEL S Collection S. 741.5973 D922h]

Springer, Nancy.
Rowan Hood: Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest. 2001
Rowan has never met her father, Robin Hood, but when her mother is murdered she sets out to find him with a motley group of friends. Many sequels follow.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Sp83r]

Tomlinson, Theresa.
The Forestwife. 1995
Mary flees to the forest to escape marriage to an elderly widower and discovers a new life with the people of the forest. This is a new twist on the traditional story of Maid Marian.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. T5972f 1995]

Yolen, Jane.
Sherwood: Original Stories from the World of Robin Hood. 2000
Eight original stories connected to the legend of Robin Hood.
[SSHEL Oak Street and CCB S. Sh581]



Fiedler, Lisa.
Dating Hamlet: Ophelia’s Story. 2002
Ophelia retells the story of Hamlet from her point of view – with a very different ending!
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. F452d]

Gratz, Alan.
Something Rotten: A Horatio Wilkes Mystery. 2007
In a contemporary story based on Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Horatio Wilkes seeks to solve the murder of his friend Hamilton Prince’s father in Denmark, Tennessee. Horatio returns in Something Wicked.
[SSHEL S Collection S. G774s]

Hutchison, Dot.
A Wounded Name. 2013
A reimagining of the world and story of Hamlet — from Ophelia’s perspective and set in an American boarding school.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. H98w]

Klein, Lisa M. 
Ophelia: A Novel. 2006
In a story based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia tells of her life in the court at Elsinore, her love for Prince Hamlet, and her escape from the violence in Denmark.
[SSHEL S Collection S. K672o]

Joker. 2006
A modern retelling of Hamlet, in which fifteen-year-old Matt begins questioning everything he believes in after the death of his best friend and his parents’ divorce.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. R176j]

Ray, Michelle.
Falling for Hamlet: A Novel. 2011
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is set in the modern world of computers, cell phones, and paparazzi, and on a popular television talk show it is revealed that Ophelia has not died.
[SSHEL S Collection S. R2127]

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Stine, R. L.
A Midsummer Night’s Scream. 2013
Decades after the filming of a horror movie is halted in the wake of three actor deaths and rumors about a haunted set, Claire, the daughter of a failing studio head, helps with a production on the same site.
[SSHEL S Collection S. St56mi]

Sutherland, Tui T.
This Must Be Love. 2004
Two good friends tell of strange occurrences between themselves and the boys they like during a high school production of Romeo and Juliet, which are reminiscent of the magical world of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Su848t]

Romeo and Juliet

Draper, Sharon M.
Romiette and Julio. 1999
Romiette, an African-American girl, and Julio, a Hispanic boy, discover that they attend the same high school after falling in love on the Internet, but are harassed by a gang whose members object to their interracial dating.
[SSHEL S Collection S. D791r]

Fiedler, Lisa.
Romeo’s Ex: Rosaline’s Story. 2006
Whatever happened to Rosaline, Romeo’s first love? A retelling of Romeo and Juliet from Rosaline’s point of view.
[SSHEL S Collection S. F452r]

Myers, Walter Dean.
Street Love. 2006
This story told in free verse is set against a background of street gangs and poverty in Harlem in which seventeen-year-old African American Damien takes a bold step to ensure that he and his new love will not be separated.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. M992st]

Selfors, Suzanne.
Saving Juliet. 2008
Seventeen-year-old Mimi Wallingford’s stage fright and fight with her mother on the closing night of Romeo and Juliet are nothing compared to the troubles she faces when she and her leading man are transported to Shakespeare’s Verona, where she decides to give the real Juliet a happy ending.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Se486s]

Serle, Rebecca.
When You Were Mine. 2012
Seniors Rosaline Caplet and Rob Monteg, neighbors and best friends, have finally become a couple at their Southern California high school, but when Rosie’s estranged cousin Juliet moves back into town and pursues Rob in an unstable, needy, and vindictive manner, Rosie starts to worry not just about Rob’s emotions, but about his very life.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Se674w]

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]

Other Plays

Gehrman, Jody.
Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty. 2008
Sixteen-year-olds Geena, Hero, and Amber spend the summer working at a Sonoma, California coffee shop, where they experience romance, identity crises, and newfound friendships. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
[SSHEL S Collection S. G274c]

Lester, Julius.
Othello: A novel. 1995
A retelling of Shakespeare’s Othello with several minor, but important, changes.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. L567O]

Pressler, Mirjam.
Shylock’s Daughter. 2001
Sixteen-year-old Jessica, who longs to be free of the restrictions of her father and life in the Jewish ghetto of sixteenth-century Venice, falls in love with a Christian aristocrat and must make choices which will affect her whole family. Inspired by Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. P9263s:E]

Rees, Celia.
The Fool’s Girl. 2010
Violetta and Feste have come to London to rescue a holy relic taken from a church in Illyria by the evil Malvolio, and once there, they tell the story of their adventures to playwright William Shakespeare, who turns it into a play.  Based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
[SSHEL S Collection S. R2595f]

Tiffany, Grace.
Ariel. 2005
Ariel, beautiful and magical, rules half of her enchanted isle, dreaming of the savior from the east who will help her conquer all. When Prospero, a lost mariner, appears on the beach, his young daughter, Miranda, in tow, Ariel entices him with her visions of conquest. All does not go smoothly however, and their clash comes to a head when Ariel, summoning her full powers, creates a cataclysmic storm that will change their lives and the island forever. Shakespeare’s The Tempest takes on new meaning for new readers, as Tiffany explores the imagination’s power to transform grief into dangerous dreams.
[SSHEL S Collection S. T447a]

Sherlock Holmes

Gleason, Colleen.
The Clockwork Scarab. 2013
In 1889 London young women are turning up dead, and Evaline Stoker, relative of Bram, and Mina Holmes, niece of Sherlock, are summoned to investigate the clue of the not-so-ancient Egyptian scarabs — but where does a time traveler fit in?
[SSHEL S Collection S. G471c]

Lane, Andrew.
Death Cloud. 2011
In 1868, with his army officer father suddenly posted to India, and his mother mysteriously “unwell,” fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle and aunt in their vast house in Hampshire, where he uncovers his first murder and a diabolical villain. The Young Sherlock Holmes series continues in Rebel Fire.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. L2412d]

Mack, Tracy and Michael Citrin.
The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas. 2006
The ragamuffin boys known as the Baker Street Irregulars help Sherlock Holmes solve the mysterious deaths of a family of circus tightrope walkers.
[SSHEL Oak Street and CCB S. M1909f]

Peacock, Shane. 
Eye of the Crow. 2007
A woman is found stabbed to death in London. A young boy is drawn to the scene to investigate the murder and becomes a suspect himself.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. P3136e]

Scheier, Leah.
Secret Letters. 2012
Sixteen-year-old Dora travels to London to meet Sherlock Holmes, who might be her biological father, and ask his help for her cousin who is being blackmailed over some stolen letters, but although Holmes dies before she arrives, a handsome young detective comes to Dora’s aid.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Sch255s]

Springer, Nancy.
The Case of the Missing Marquess. 2006
Enola Holmes, much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, must travel to London in disguise to unravel the disappearance of her missing mother. Enola Holmes Mysteries continue in The Case of the Left-Handed Lady.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. Sp83ca]