Lois Burdett's Shakespeare for Kids!

Critics can be... well, rather critical of this series, but the books continue to get rave reviews from parents and teachers at Amazon and GoodReads.

For example, as of this date, the good folks at GoodReads, who tend to be harder graders than the reviewers at Amazon, have given the books an average rating in the 4's.

(UPDATED: August 2013)

A Midsummer Night's Dream
4.21 Stars — 38 raters

Romeo and Juliet
4.30 avg rating — 30

Much Ado About Nothing
4.00 Stars — 28 raters

4.16 Stars — 32 raters

4.09 Stars — 33 raters

The Tempest
4.05 Stars — 21 raters

Twelfth Night
4.38 Stars — 19 raters

The lowest average Amazon rating for any of the books is 4-Stars. So check out the sample pages and see if you think your child or classroom is ready for Shakespeare!


Illustrated by elementary students, this 64 page version of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is adapted for young children to enjoy.

Reading Information:
Word Count: 4,201
Page Count:  40
Accelerated Reading level:  4.0 / points: 1.0 
AR quiz: 52790 
--sample pages available 


Hamlet is made appropriate for children in this funny and evocative rendition.

Word Count: 5,862
Page Count:  64
Accelerated Reading level:  4.3 / points: 1.0 
AR quiz: 52777
--sample pages available 


In Macbeth, the theme of the consequences of ambition and greed is explored. It is written in rhyming couplets and illustrated by the students of Stratford's Hamlet Elementary School.
Word Count: 5,170
Page Count:  64
Accelerated Reading level:  4.3 / points: 1.0 
AR quiz: 52780
--sample pages available 

Written in rhyming couplets, this version for children is suitable for staging as class plays as well as reading aloud.

Word Count: 5,674
Page Count:  64
Accelerated Reading level:  4.4 / points: 1.0 
AR quiz: 52784
 Lexile: 660L 
--sample pages available 
    Old Capulet greeted them in the great hall,
    "Welcome, my friends, one and all!
    Join the party!" he said with a grin,
    "Come musicians, let the mirth begin."
    In a matter of moments the room was aglow,
    The ladies and gentlemen danced to and fro.
    But Romeo stood by himself at the side
    Until, in an instant, his eyes opened wide.
    He gazed on a vision he'd never forget.
    Across the room was the fair Juliet.
    Now Rosaline's beauty lost its glow,
    "What lady's that?" asked Romeo.
    "Oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright,
    For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night!"

    by Lois Burdett

    Illustrated by elementary students, this 64 page version of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream is adapted for young people to enjoy.

    Word Count: 4,669
    Page Count:  64
    Accelerated Reading level:  4.5 / points: 1.0 
    AR quiz: 52774
    --sample pages available 

    "You've got to be kidding!" Helena cried,
    "I know, it's Hermia, you want for your bride."
    "Not a chance!" said Lysander, "It's you I love!
    Who will not change a raven for a dove?"
    "Give me a break!" Helena scoffed in dismay,
    "Do you think I was born yesterday?
    Your speech to me is like a thorn;
    How dare you treat me with such scorn!"
    Then she stomped off, in great disdain;
    Lysander followed with a loving refrain.


    "The Tempest" is an exciting tale of jealousy and betrayal, magic and romance, repentance and forgiveness, and has all the elements necessary to ignite a young child's imagination and creative energy. By her use of rhyming couplets, Lois Burdett has once again succeeded in transforming Shakespeare's complex verse into a format readily understood by children.

    Word Count: 5,558
     Page Count:  64
    Accelerated Reading level:  4.6 / points: 1.0 
    AR quiz: 45576 
    Lexile: NP
    --sample pages available


    Retelling of the Shakespearean drama with illustrations by children.

    Word Count: 6,000
    Page Count:  64
    Accelerated Reading level:  5.1 / points: 1.0 
    AR quiz: 58575
      Beatrice approached, with Claudio by the hand,
      "I've brought the Count, as was your command."
      Don Pedro inquired, "My friend, why are you sad?
      What's wrong with you, Claudio? Are you sick, my lad?"
      But this faulty notion, Beatrice tried to dispel,
      "The Count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor well.
      He's jealous and thinks you tricked him, my lord!"
      "Claudio, your beliefs are false!" the Prince deplored.
      "I have wooed in thy name and fair Hero is won,
      Her father has consented. Now my job is done."
      Then Leonato arrived with Hero by his side.
      "Count Claudio, take my sweet daughter for your bride."
      The young man was speechless and knew not what to do.
      "Speak, Count!" urged Beatrice, "Tis your cue!"