The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0080 Friday, 14 January 2000.
Date: Thursday, 13 Jan 2000 15:24:51 -0500
Subject: King of Shadows
If someone hasn't already brought this book to your attention . . . I
thought the list, particularly those teaching Shakespeare in middle and
high schools, might like to know about a new novel by Newberry-award
winning author Susan Cooper, just out from Margaret K. McElderry Books.
*King of Shadows* is the story of young Nat Field, chosen to act in an
American boys' theater company that will perform at the newly
reconstructed Globe. But in London Nat becomes mysteriously ill-with
the plague, it turns out-and wakes up in 16th c. London, where he finds
himself part of Richard Burbage's company. There he is again cast as
Puck in MSND, but it's Will Shakespeare himself who plays Oberon.
The book is beautifully written. It's not only offers a nifty bit of
time travel and a vivid recreation of Shakespeare's London and theatre,
but a moving a story of friendship and loss. One of the lovely things
to watch is the way Nat moves from being awed by Shakespeare to becoming
his friend. I suspect that for those teaching Shakespeare to young
readers, especially MSND, this book would be an excellent companion
piece. Sonnet #116 also figures quite prominently in the story.