What's the best way to deal with high school drama? Apply the problem-solving strategies of Shakespeare.
“It should be exciting to start high school, thought Bea—only it wasn't.” On the first day of freshman year, Bea learns that her expectations of high school might not match reality. One problem is that Bea's best friend achieved both a new, hot body and a leap into the cool group while Bea was away at summer camp. Another problem is that Bea's longtime crush turns out to be a jerk. Luckily, there's a new teacher at the head of the honors English classroom who guides Bea's class through the twists and turns of Romeo and Juliet, showing them how the play can be applicable to their own lives. Cohen offers up lessons of theory and language while engaging her readers with enjoyable characters who find themselves entangled in Shakespearean plots that must be unwound with compassion and insight. The student body is not notably diverse; Bea, her teacher, and her crush are all evidently white. Cohen writes with a light romantic touch, only occasionally slipping into the pedantic: “Listening to all this, Bea came to a bunch of conclusions that connected to Romeo and Juliet.” Her discussions of plot, language, and thematic elements will serve young scholars better than SparkNotes.
Ideal for those who are charmed by the romance of Shakespeare. And who isn't? (Fiction. 12-15)