If you enjoy Shakespeare's stories, but prefer reading them in modern-day English, you may enjoy some of these retellings of his biggest hits! These are also fun introductions to The Bard if you haven't read any of his works before. Click on the titles to request a copy!
Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub
This is the story of what happens after Romeo & Juliet. Their families are still fighting and no one seems to know how to end their feud. Then the prince comes up with a plan. One member of each family must marry, ending the rivalry. When Romeo’s best friend, Benvolio, and Juliet’s cousin, Rosaline, are chosen they are quite skeptical. Can they save Verona and their families?
Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Jody Gehrman
A contemporary spin on Shakespeare’s tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this story takes place over summer break. Geena thinks her break spent with her cousin and her best friend will be one for the ages, but unfortunately things do not go as planned. This tale is full of mistaken identities, romance, and crazy schemes, making it a fun, modern day equivalent to Shakespeare’s famous play.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Another contemporary story with parallels to Shakespeare’s work, this time being King Lear. Cady comes from a privileged family, the Sinclairs. They have their own island where they summer, but one year everything changes and Cady is trying to figure out what truly happened to her that previous summer. E. Lockhart writes a twisting tale that would make the Bard proud.
Loving Will Shakespeare by Carolyn Meyer
This is the fictionalized story of how Shakespeare met his real life wife, Anne Hathaway. Anne is a simple farmer’s daughter and is quickly becoming distressed about her marriage prospects. When the much younger Will Shakespeare kisses her, their lives change forever. Read how Shakespeare’s own love story was fit for a play!
The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees
Part retelling, part period piece, The Fool’s Girl is quite an interesting novel! Taking themes and ideas from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, this story is a grand adventure. Violetta, from a crumbling kingdom, finds her way to London on a mysterious quest. She is not sure where she is being led until she meets William Shakespeare, who just might have the answers that she is looking for.
Enter Three Witches by Caroline B. Cooney
This tale, from one of teen fiction's most popular authors, is a take on Macbeth that you have not seen before. Lady Mary, a ward of Lord and Lady Macbeth, tells the infamous story while being trapped inside their castle. Amidst violence and bloodshed, can Mary save not only herself, but everyone else?
Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine
This retelling of Romeo & Juliet is from the perspective of Romeo’s cousin, Benvolio, the great thief of Verona. With the focus on supporting characters from the play as well as language and setting of the original, this will please fans of Shakespeare’s version.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
This recent release reimagines The Winter’s Tale in a contemporary setting with cheerleaders. Hermione is drugged and raped while at cheer camp, and with the help of her supportive best friend, parents, and law enforcement, works to uncover her rapist’s identity in this thought-provoking, character driven novel.
The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters
Set in the 1920s, this Hamlet retelling centers around the daughter of an interracial couple whose father was murdered. With all the intrigue and even the ghosts of the original, this is an update fans should check out.