Monday, April 9, 2012

JBA Post #5: The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet, Erin Dionne

I LOVED this book! It's about a girl whose parents are much so that they named their two daughters Hamlet and Desdemona, characters from some of Shakespeare's works.

The main character is Hamlet, and nothing about her family is normal. Her parents are both Shakespeare professors at a local college, and live life completely based on their passion for Shakespeare. They dress as Shakespeare would have, only eat foods typical of the time, and speak as Shakespeare would have - they don't even let their kids use contractions! On top of that, Hamlet's little sister, Desdemona, is a genius. She's only seven years old but takes college courses and even tutors middle school kids in math.

At the beginning of Hamlet's eighth grade year, Desdemona starts attending the same school as her and is even in some of the same classes. Hamlet has a lot of trouble with this. This trouble is compounded when her class begins a Shakespeare study and Hamlet finds out that her freak-show parents will be coming in to help her teachers.

This book really has it all...familial angst, typical middle school "mean girls", humor, allusions to Shakespeare's works, and a happy ending! I'd recommend it to any girls looking for a pretty quick, entertaining read. Don't fight the urge to read some Shakespeare when you're finished!

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