Gary L. Blackwood sold his first story when he was nineteen, and has been writing and publishing stories, articles, plays, novels, and nonfiction books regularly ever since. His stage plays have won awards and been produced in university and regional theatre. Nonfiction subjects he's covered include biography, history, and paranormal phenomena. His juvenile novels, which include WILD TIMOTHY, THE DYING SUN, and THE SHAKESPEARE STEALER, are set in a wide range of times and places, from Elizabethan England to a parallel universe. Several have received special recognition and been translated into other languages. He and his wife and kids live outside Carthage, MO.
Gr 5-8-Being an orphan is never easy, especially during the time of Shakespear's England. Treated as property by various "owners," Widge, the 14-year-old protagonist, is forced to attempt the theft of Hamlet from the man himself. Yet, after ingratiating himself into the acting company, he finds true friends for the first time in his life. What will he doÄbetray his only friends, or risk his life by defying his guardian's orders? The story by Gary Blackwood (Dutton, 1998) brings Shakespearean England alive for young listeners through the descriptive language and situations of the many characters. The tenuous survival of children during this period, even in such a vital city as London, is an underlying backdrop. This, combined with the central issues of friendship and deception, provides a story filled with tension and surprises. Actor Ron Keith's narration adds a strong auditory element to the story. The veteran narrator uses his well-developed talent to change voices for the characters, and employs inflecting vocal tones and silence to craft fuller personalities. Each voice is tailored to fit the subtleties of the character, as in the wicked Falconer. This is a great supplement to any language arts curriculum to enhance a Shakespeare unit, and a wonderful story just to enjoy.-Tina Hudak, St. Bernard's, Riverdale, MD Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"Excels in the lively depictions of Elizabethan stagecraft and
street life,"--Publisher's Weekly
"A fast-moving historical novel that introduces an important era with casual familiarity." -School Library Journal, starred review
"Readers will find much to like in Widge, and plenty to enjoy in this gleeful romp through olde England"--Kirkus Reviews