The Shakespeare Stealer
Gary L. Blackwood
(Scholastic Paperbacks, June 30, 1998)
High jinks and high adventure fill every page of this exciting, panoramic novel set in Shakespeare's time. Widge, our hero, is a young orphan indentured to a cold, unscrupulous master because the young boy has a special talent--the ability to write a secret shorthand. The master is bent on getting hold of the script of Hamlet at any cost, so it becomes Widge's task to transcribe it--or else. This picaresque tale follows Widge as he hightails his way into the very heart of the Globe Theatre and Shakespeare's company of players. As full of twists as a London alleyway, this entertaining novel is rich in period details, colorful characters, villainy, drama, and chuckles. Swordplay and wordplay share the stage with pure fun, all of which will keep readers rapt to the final scene.