Staff Note: Young Adult Reads is a series of posts reviewing items that are geared toward teens, but are of interest to all York County Public Library readers.
As we mentioned in our post reviewing The Bookman's Tale, the Virginia Shakespeare Initiative has kicked off a year of celebrating William Shakespeare. But the initiative isn't just an opportunity for adults to experience the joy of Shakespeare. There are plenty of titles available at your library that re-envision his plays for a young adult audience. From Romeo & Juliet to Hamlet, young adult authors draw on the themes that made these plays so popular, even 400 years later.
- Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors (Romeo & Juliet) — Seventeen-year-old Mimi Wallingford's stage fright and fight with her mother on the closing night of Romeo and Juliet are nothing compared to the troubles she faces when she and her leading man are transported to Shakespeare's Verona, where she decides to give the real Juliet a happy ending.
- Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay (Romeo & Juliet) — For seven hundred years, the souls of Romeo and Juliet have repeatedly inhabited the bodies of newly deceased people to battle to the death as sworn enemies, until they meet for the last time as two Southern California high school students.
- Street Love by Walter Dean Myers (Romeo & Juliet) — This story told in free verse is set against a background of street gangs and poverty in Harlem in which seventeen-year-old African American Damien takes a bold step to ensure that he and his new love will not be separated.
- Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine (Romeo & Juliet) — The star-crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet, told through the eyes of Romeo's cousin, Benvolio, a thief known as the Prince of Shadows.
- YOLO Juliet by William Shakespeare Brett Wright (Romeo & Juliet) — Two families at war. A boy and a girl in love. A secret marriage gone oh-so-wrong. What if those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet had smartphones? The classic Shakespeare play told through its characters texting with emojis, checking in at certain locations, and updating their relationship statuses.
- The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters (Hamlet) — A sixteen-year-old biracial girl in rural Oregon in the 1920s searches for the truth about her father's death while avoiding trouble from the Ku Klux Klan in this YA historical novel inspired by Shakespeare's 'Hamlet.'
- Srsly Hamlet by William Shakespeare Courtney Carbone (Hamlet) — Imagine: What if Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, and the tragic Ophelia had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays!
- Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston (The Winter’s Tale) — At cheerleading camp, Hermione is drugged and raped, but she is not sure whether it was one of her teammates or a boy on another team - and in the aftermath she has to deal with the rumors in her small Ontario town, the often awkward reaction of her classmates, the rejection of her boyfriend, the discovery that her best friend, Polly, is gay, and above all the need to remember what happened so that the guilty boy can be brought to justice.
- Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Jody Gehrman (Much Ado about Nothing) — Sixteen-year-olds Geena, Hero, and Amber spend the summer working at a Sonoma, California coffee shop, where they experience romance, identity crises, and newfound friendships.
- William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night by adapted by Vincent Goodwin; illustrated by Cynthia Martin (Graphic Novel) — Retells, in comic book format, Shakespeare's comedy about love at first sight, disguises, twins, and practical jokes.
Request your copy of a Shakespeare play adaptation today by visiting the online catalog or calling 890-5100.