All the World's a Stage: A Novel in Five Acts
All the World's a Stage: A Novel in Five Acts
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Annotation: 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.
Catalog Number: #5261281
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Holiday House
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2011
Pages: 176
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-8234-2281-X
ISBN 13: 978-0-8234-2281-4
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In Elizabethan England, 12-year-old Kit is one of hundreds of boys from the countryside who arrive in London to seek a trade. Unfortunately, Kit's first apprenticeship is with a gang of thieves, who order him to steal purses from the crowd at the Theatre playhouse, where Shakespeare is the writer in residence. After Kit is caught, the Theatre's managers give him the option of working off his crime, and what begins as a punishment turns into a thrilling opportunity as Kit becomes an indispensable stagehand and falls in love with theatrical life. Woelfle adds additional tension with a story, based on true events, of the players' eviction from one site, and the secret, rushed dismantling of the timbers that eventually formed the Globe Theatre at a different location. But the most compelling drama is Kit's universal search for his calling and his shifting friendships, particularly with a girl so clever that even Shakespeare quotes her. An author's note, a glossary, and a bibliography add more curricular tie-ins, while frequent charming drawings enhance the sense of time and place.
Horn Book
Following the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill, eleven-year-old aspiring ornithologist and "bird artist" Bouler created paintings in exchange for donations to the clean-up effort. Here she shares her love of birding, her own conservation efforts, and ways for others to take action. Though content is a little sparse, the book's message and design--including impressive original sketches--will successfully reach young environmentalists. Websites.
Kirkus Reviews
A novel of Elizabethan theater centers around an unsuccessful thief. Kit is caught up in the excitement of a performance by the Lord Chamberlain's men at the Theatre. Unfortunately, he is a penniless, runaway 12-year-old orphan forced to work as a cutpurse, stealing money from audience members. Distracted by the drama, he fails in his first attempt and agrees to work for the players to avoid prison. Reluctantly, he is caught up in their hectic world of rehearsal and performance. Woelfle opens a revealing window into 1590s London and its dynamic theater scene. There are intriguing snapshots of one William Shakespeare, who finds his inspiration from street songs and conversations he overhears. Men and boys play the roles of women, sew costumes, rehearse speeches and sword fights and build sets. The scene stealer here is the intrigue behind the stealthy deconstruction of the Theatre and its rebuilding as the Globe due to a legal squabble with the landlord. Against this backdrop, Kit grapples with his own career choices, growing into the satisfying realization that carpentry is his calling. Young Molly, who sells apples in the theater, is a welcome friend and foil. Readers of Gary Blackwood's The Shakespeare Stealer (1998) will find this equally exciting. The conceit of organizing the story through acts and scenes in lieu of chapters sets the stage nicely for a dramatic tale. (author's note, glossary, bibliography; illustrations not seen) (Historical fiction. 8-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 5&11;8&12; This engaging tale of adventure and self-discovery in 16th-century London revolves around a true, and remarkable, historical event: the dismantling of a theater on the north side of the Thames so it could be stolen, beam by beam, and rebuilt on the south bank as the Globe Theatre. While the owner of the Globe, its master builder, and William Shakespeare are all featured as characters, the main player is scrappy Kit Buckles, a friendless orphan who tries his hand at petty thievery and bungles it. To atone for being a pickpocket, the 12-year-old goes to work as a stage boy, cleaning, delivering messages, and acting as a stand-in player. In no time he's an integral part of the company. As the drama unfolds, Kit attempts to discover his destiny; the chapter headings ("Messenger," "Apprentice," etc.) represent the various identities he tries on like costumes. The tale is well structured and interesting, and the language is infused with Shakespearean phrases sure to please fans of the Bard. An author's note recounts the facts of the Globe's construction. With its engaging characters and manageable length, this is a good pick for historical-fiction novices, and an obvious choice for kids with an interest in Shakespeare and his time.&12; Emma Burkhart, Springside School, Philadelphia, PA
Word Count: 33,258
Reading Level: 4.5
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.5 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 143506 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.2 / points:9.0 / quiz:Q53279
Lexile: 680L

Suddenly a hand gripped the back of his neck. "Cutpurse!" Kit is caught! Twelve-year-old orphan Kit Buckles, seeking his fortune in Elizabethan London, has bungled his first job as a pickpocket at the Theatre Playhouse where the Lord Chamberlains Men are performing. To avoid jail, Kit agrees to work for the playhouse and soon grows fond of the life there: the dramas on- and offstage. Things get truly exciting when Kit joins the plot to steal the playhouse from the landlord who has evicted the company.

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