Kirkus Reviews QR Code
SHAKESPEARE’S SPY by Gary Blackwood

SHAKESPEARE’S SPY

By Gary Blackwood

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-525-47145-6
Publisher: Dutton

Street-waif-turned-actor Widge stumbles into adolescence as he makes a third entrance onto the vividly rendered stage of Elizabethan London’s “backstreets and snickleways.” As the Queen’s failing health brings worries that the Puritans will at last be able to close down all the theaters, Widge acquires both a risky new acquaintance who turns out to be a fugitive Jesuit, and a bad case of the wobbles from the sudden arrival of Shakespeare’s flirtatious daughter Judith from Stratford. Worse yet, expensive costumes are disappearing from the troupe’s stores, and news comes that his stage-struck friend Julia is in desperate straits in Paris. On the other hand, Widge is given a partial script that Shakespeare has given up on, about the changing fortunes of one Timon, and finds himself on the verge of discovering a vocation. Peppered like its predecessors with hilarious wordplay and real stagecraft, with historical incidents woven into a complex but expertly controlled plot, this new act will draw enthusiastic ovations from fans, theatergoers, or otherwise. (Fiction. 11-13)