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Romeo and Juliet (Teacher's Manual)
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Gr 7 Up-Each book includes a brief introduction to the play, followed by an illustrated cast of characters and a glossary of literary terms. Annotated text from the play alternates with black-and-white illustrations of selected scenes, "in the style of a graphic novel." It is unclear why the editors did not make these true graphic novels throughout. The black-and-white comic art is undistinguished, and as most of it simply depicts two characters in conversation, it does little to clarify what is going on. The first two plays in particular offer marvelous possibilities for the illustrator, so the ho-hum comics are disappointing. "Think about it" boxes contain study questions such as, "What has worried Macbeth?" and boxed "Literary terms" give examples like, "`Hermia...Hermia...Helena...' is...alliteration." Teacher's guides accompany the books. Those interested in a graphic-novel interpretation might want to consider Arthur Byron Cover's Macbeth (Puffin, 2005), which is illustrated in manga style and would probably appeal more to reluctant readers. These titles might be useful for teaching Shakespeare to reluctant readers, but a better choice might be a simple annotated Shakespeare such as a Sparknotes "No Fear Shakespeare" series (Spark), supplemented by Bruce Coville's William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1999) and William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (2003, both Penguin), which are picture-book prose adaptations, or Adam McKeown's Romeo and Juliet: Young Reader's Shakespeare (Sterling, 2004).-Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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