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Shakespeare retold

William Shakespeare: scenes from the life of the world’s greatest writer

Take a look at some of our favourite re-tellings (or reimaginings) of Shakespeare's plays. They all bring these incredible stories to life for younger readers.

From picture book versions to teenage novels, the books provide the perfect introduction to Shakespeare.

  • Rani and Sukh

    Author: Bali Rai
    Publisher: Random House
    Interest age: 13+
    Reading age: 13+

    A vivid, fast-moving take on the Romeo and Juliet story, exploring the experience of young urban British Asians as they negotiate their way through two cultures

  • Exposure

    Author: Mal Peet
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 13+
    Reading age: 9+

    The third of Peet’s thrillers involving South American football journalist Paul Faustino.

  • King of Shadows

    Author: Susan Cooper
    Publisher: Random House
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 12+

    Nat Field, an orphaned American actor, is taken ill during a performance and slips back in time to the Tudor era.

  • The Merchant of Venice: A Shakespeare Story

    Author: Andrew Matthews Illustrator: Tony Ross
    Publisher: Orchard Books
    Interest age: 8+
    Reading age: 7+

    Shakespeare's dialogue is greatly abridged, but key passages are kept, and the well-known sayings remain.

  • Chasing the Stars

    Author: Malorie Blackman
    Publisher: Penguin Random House
    Interest age: 14+
    Reading age: 14+

    Blackman's skilful retelling of Shakespeare's Othello in a futuristic space setting is thrilling and romantic. The characters are memorable, and readers won't be able to tell whose side they are on - and who they should trust.

  • King Lear - Manga Shakespeare

    Author: William Shakespeare
    Publisher: Self Made Hero
    Interest age: 11+
    Reading age: 11+

    Ilya's illustrations match the intensity of the play to bring this tragic classic vividly to life

  • Bravo, Mr William Shakespeare!

    Author: Marcia Williams
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 8+
    Reading age: 8+

    Illustrator Marcia Williams offers up lively illustrated retellings of some of Shakespeare's most famous plays in this entertaining picture book perfect for use in the classroom.

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream - Manga Shakespeare

    Author: by Richard Appignanesi William Shakespeare Kate Brown
    Publisher: SelfMadeHero
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    Shakespeare's enduring story set in present-day Athens, but a present with a massive difference.

  • Romeo and Juliet - Manga Shakespeare

    Author: Sonia Leong and William Shakespeare Adapted by Richard Appignanesi
    Publisher: Self Made Hero
    Interest age: 13+
    Reading age: 13+

    Set in modern Tokyo, with the Capulets and Montagues recast as organised-crime rivals, this racy retelling gets to the heart of the love story and the foolish rivalry that dooms it.

  • The Greatest Show of All

    Author: Jane Eagland
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 11-13
    Reading age: 8+

    Kitty's predestined role is to marry, have children and keep house, but her dream is to work with horses. So she disguises herself as a boy and runs away to join the circus. Kitty's story is about following your dreams and staying true to your values.

  • William Shakespeare: scenes from the life of the world’s greatest writer

    Author: Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 10+
    Reading age: 8

    Starting with his birth in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 and ending with this death there in 1616, this informative and accessible book charts the personal and literary life of William Shakespeare.

    Background facts about Elizabethan times, how people lived, the politics and religious issues of the time are revealed. Information about Will's schooling, his m…

  • The Boy and the Globe

    Author: Tony Bradman Illustrator: Tom Morgan-Jones
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
    Interest age: 7-11
    Reading age: 7+

    When Toby goes to the Globe theatre to thieve, he meets a sad and despairing figure: William Shakespeare. This funny chapter book celebrates the power of art and imagination in all its forms - and has some wonderfully arch illustrations.