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Article  •  11 July 2024

 

These gorgeous new editions of Shakespeare classics are perfect for YA readers

Everything you need to know about the Shakespeare STAGED collection.

How many Shakespeare plays have you had on your TBR list, but never gotten around to actually reading?

This new STAGED collection may be the little push you need to finally read them.

Shakespeare is the master of tropes, covering classic YA themes like tragedy, romance, and a fair dose of supernatural happenings.

Now, his plays are being paired with YA authors known for the same themes. Six Shakespeare classics have been paired up with forewords by six beloved YA authors as an easier way into these much-loved stories.

While remaining true to Shakespeare’s original text, the books are set in dyslexic-friendly fonts, and come complete with a glossary of uncommon words and phrases. In short, this is Shakespeare’s writing at its most accessible.

Shakespeare STAGED books

Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare

Trope: Forbidden love

Foreword by Jennifer Niven

‘For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.’

A bloody feud. A tangled love. A senseless tragedy that brings two families to their knees.

After a chance meeting at a ball, young Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall desperately in love. But their families are locked in a bitter rivalry, their love forbidden. When blood is spilled, Romeo is banished, forcing Juliet to take desperate measures that spell tragedy for the star-crossed lovers.

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Much Ado About Nothing William Shakespeare

Trope: Enemies-to-lovers

Foreword by Holly Bourne

‘I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.’

Love, deception and discord are flourishing in the court of Messina.

Sweet, innocent Hero and the famed soldier Claudio are immediately infatuated, while the bickering Beatrice and Benedick can agree on just one thing: the other is insufferable. Little do they know, two plans are afoot – one to make Beatrice and Benedick fall in love, another to break up Hero and Claudio.

 

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A Midsummer Night's Dream William Shakespeare

Trope: Love triangle

Foreword by Becky Albertalli

‘The course of true love never did run smooth …’

Hermia loves Lysander. But she must marry Demetrius or be condemned to life in a convent. Together, they plan to elope to escape their fate. But Helena, Hermia’s best friend, secretly loves Demetrius and, hoping to win his heart, tells him about the plan.

Soon, the four unlucky lovers cross paths with Oberon, the jilted fairy king. When a powerful, love-inducing flower is put to nefarious use, a case of multiple mistaken identities sets in motion a night of magic and mayhem that could change all of their lives forever.

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Hamlet William Shakespeare

Trope: Everybody dies

Foreword by Àbíké-Íyímídé

‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.’

When Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, discovers his father was murdered, he swears vengeance against the killer: his father’s brother, Claudius, who has married Hamlet’s mother and taken the throne.

Furious at this betrayal, Hamlet devises a complex plot to reveal the truth and enact his revenge. But Claudius has a devious plan of his own. Together, they will bring devastation to the entire court.

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As You Like It William Shakespeare

Trope: Fake dating

Foreword by Talia Hibbert

‘We that are true lovers run into strange capers.’

Banished from her ambitious uncle’s court, the lovesick Rosalind flees to the forest with her cousin, Celia. Disguised as shepherds, they soon meet the dashing Orlando – forced into hiding by a plot against his life, heartbroken at the separation from his beloved Rosalind.

Oblivious to her identity, Orlando grows close to Rosalind. But a local shepherdess has also fallen for Rosalind.

As their hopes and dreams entangle, can everyone get what they want?

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Macbeth William Shakespeare

Trope: Dark prophecy

Foreword by Kat Delacorte

‘It will have blood, they say: blood will have blood.’

On a bleak stormy night, three witches prophesise: Macbeth will be a lord twice over, Macbeth will be king, Banquo’s sons will be kings.

When their predictions start to come true, the ambitious Lady Macbeth vows to help her husband become King of Scotland and hold on to the throne – by any means necessary. But as the pursuit of power leads them down a dark and bloody path, the Macbeths begin to unravel.

 

See a list of the full collection here

Buy now

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