Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: M.E. Castle
Illustrator: Daniel Jennewein
Fakespeare: Star-Crossed in Romeo and Juliet by M.E. Castle is the story of how Becca, along with her half-brother Sam and Rufus, their dog, are magically transported into Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Becca and Sam must help Romeo and Juliet fall in love in order to escape the story. Meanwhile, they also have to avoid the warring Blue Montagues and Scarlet Capulets, who are fighting over their pizza recipes. In the end, Becca, Sam, and Rufus are able to defeat the smelly Tybalt, and Romeo and Juliet vow to change their families opinions toward one another.
This novel is not an accurate introduction to Shakespeare. Rather, it is an introduction to reading for kids who rarely read. The syntax is basic, but the story is engaging. The illustrations are simple and aid the story, without being the main attraction. The mysterious "Narrator" proclaims at the end that reading helps people understand more about themselves and those around them. In the end, Becca learns to accept her step-brother and Romeo and Juliet learn to put aside their difference and appreciate their common interests. The book parallels the alternate installment of Fakespeare: Something Stinks in Hamlet.
*Contains mild violence