Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy

Jennifer Curry's favorite books »

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Book Review: New Boy

Book Review: New Boy (Hogarth Shakespeare) by Tracy Chevalier

I love Shakespeare. I took several Shakespeare courses in college. I taught Shakespeare. I own the entire collection, more than one shirt, and the Lego brick Shakespeare editions. But, I am one of those weird souls who prefers his tragedies over his comedies (with King Lear being my favorite followed closely by Othello).

So when I heard about Hogarth Shakespeare's New Boy (a retelling of Othello), I did not hesitate to read it. “The Hogarth Shakespeare project sees Shakespeare’s works retold by acclaimed and bestselling novelists of today.” New Day is written by the incredible Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring.

new boy othello

In this retelling, the story takes place on a playground with students in grades 4-6. It is easy to identify which students model which Shakespearean characters, and the plot follows very closely. So closely that as I got closer to the end, I became more and more upset as I remember how the original play ended.

The novel is beautifully written. However, I did struggle with the ages of the characters. I found it hard to imagine kids this age acting and thinking in the ways they were portrayed. Since this is a tragedy, it made reading about children more difficult.

But isn’t that the point of Shakespeare’s tragedies? They make you think and blanch at the horrors of life. As Othello deals with themes of race, lust, betrayal, it is intended to leave you feeling unsettled. Chevalier’s New Boy will leave you feeling the same way.

You can find out more here:

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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