Available: paperback, hardcopy, Kindle
The story takes place in the mid 1500's. Widge is an unusual orphan. He's educated. As such he is apprenticed to a doctor where he learns to take dictation. Using a revolutionary shorthand method Widge can write rapidly and accurately record every word spoken. It's almost magical. Because of this skill, he is sold for a high price. His new master is cruel anddemanding. He orders Widge to make a copy of Shakespeare's latest play Hamlet. Failure is not an option if Widge wants to live. It sounds like an easy assignment. But when the theater company takes him in, for the first time in his life he feels like he belongs. Now he has the biggest decision of his life. If he obeys his master it means he'll betray his new friends.
The story is well written and has a historical feel. Widge is an endearing character almost out of a Dicken's novel. This would be a great read-aloud story for the classroom.
Target audience: grades 4-7
Mystery/ Suspense: historial
Kid appeal: nice