Saving Hamlet

Molly Booth. Hyperion, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4847-5274-6
Fans of the Bard will relish this evocative and witty time-travel tale that has student stage manager Emma falling through a trapdoor into Shakespeare’s 17th-century Globe Theater, where the high school sophomore is mistaken for a male backstage assistant. Before Emma has a chance to adjust to the language, conventions, and stench of Elizabethan thespians, she is swept into the frenzied preparations for the premiere production of Hamlet, the same play being rehearsed at her school under the questionable leadership of a new student director. Using the trapdoor as a portal between two centuries, Emma begins leading a double life, finding crises, triumphs, and romance in both worlds. First-time author Booth captures the thrills of the theater in two eras while providing an striking portrait of Shakespeare and the Chamberlain’s Men through Emma’s eyes. Her energetic narrative encapsulates general issues of Elizabethan England (disease, pollution, hygiene) and personal ones confronting Emma in modern times (earning respect from her cast, rebuilding broken friendships, and saving a show from potential disaster). As enlightening as it is enjoyable, this whimsical novel deserves applause of its own. Ages 12–up. Agent: Alexander Slater, Trident Media Group. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/19/2016
Release date: 11/01/2016
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-4847-4378-2
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