The Total Tragedy of a Girl named Hamlet

In YA Book Reviews on September 15, 2014 at 9:39 pm


by Erin Dionne

Realistic Fiction/©2014/295 pages/Recommended for 7th Grade and Older

Publisher’s Comments:

Hamlet Kennedy just wants to be your average, happy, vanilla eighth grader. But with Shakespearean scholar parents who dress in Elizabethan regalia and generally go about in public as if it were the sixteenth century, that’s not terribly easy. It gets worse when they decide that Hamlet’s genius seven year-old sister will attend middle school with her— and even worse when the Shakespeare project is announced and her sister is named the new math tutor. By the time an in-class recitation reveals that our heroine is an extraordinary Shakespearean actress, Hamlet can no longer hide from the fact that she—like her family—is anything but average.
In a novel every bit as funny as her debut, Erin Dionne has created another eighth grader whose situation is utterly unique—but whose foibles and farces will resound with every girl currently suffering through middle school.

My Comments:

I found this to be a light enjoyable read with clever plot details that give a gentle and humorous introduction to Shakespeare. The characters were quirky and likable, complete with all the humor and angst you associate with middle school and family dynamics – mean girls, emotional highs and lows, general insecurities, sibling rivalry, and dealing with parents. It is a light read, but there are lots of life lessons to be gleaned here.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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