Romeo and Juliet needs no introduction. Younger readers with be suitably introduced to one the greatest love stories ever to be written. Romeo and Juliet is the tragic love story of the “star-crossed lovers,” Romeo and Juliet. Set in the city of Verona, Italy, the play revolves around the feud between two affluent families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Despite the enmity, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall passionately in love and wed in secret. However, the enmity between both disapproving families overpowers and leads everything to go terribly wrong.
I was interested to see how someone could possibly tackle Romeo and Juliet to make it into something palatable for readers even younger than Juliet herself.
This highly condensed version of Shakespeare’s dramatic play focuses mostly on the title characters and devotes more time to the developing relationship than the death-fest that comes afterwards. There are some illustrations throughout.
In order to simplify things, some characters are changed a little. Paris is no longer some titled guy looking for a well-bred baby-maker, but is now a man who comes to the Capulet ball already knowing Juliet and in love with her. The nurse becomes some random servant in the background of the story.
I think the violent aspects of the story were explained as briefly and best as they could be for the target readers.
Still, it’s an extraordinary choice of story for a middle grade book!
Review copy provided by NetGalley.