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Manga Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet Paperback – April 1, 2007


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Manga Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet + Manga Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream + Manga Shakespeare: Hamlet
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 8
  • Lexile Measure: 530L (What's this?)
  • Series: Manga Shakespeare
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810993252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810993259
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Adapting Shakespeare's plays to a graphic-novel format isn't easy, as the language needs a particularly firm scaffolding of expression and gesture. As part of the new Manga Shakespeare series, this adaptation, set in modern-day Tokyo, does a competent job of combining manga-style art and abridged dialogue to immerse the reader in the world of the play. Although the richness of the language may be lost, the script keeps the spirit of the story intact, hitting all the major speeches. The art is occasionally muddied by too-similar gray-scale patterns, but the layout and characters are energetic and iconic. By situating the play in modern Tokyo among rival yakuza, or organized-crime families, Appignanesi and Leong present manga fans with a world they will recognize. Robin Brenner
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By lotsofbookshelves on January 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This was a bit odd. I got this for my second grader. He is picky about what he will bother to read, Star Wars, Capitan Underpants and comics in many forms. We negotiated this one as he has seen the play. He read it through in several hours, happily. Now he keeps asking when more are coming out.
The older sister, 5th grade, read 2/3 of the play with me this summer. She read it, enjoyed it, noted that it was missing some good parts.
So I read it through, against my better judgment. The pictures are fine I dislike the cuts. Halfway through I realize that I am really into it and the story, as portrayed in manga, works. Did I pick up new insights? Not any deep ones, but it was better than some productions. I found it a reasonable and moving presentation.
I'll buy more of these for the kids.
This would be useful for the kids who can not fathom reading Shakespeare. If a student was slipped a copy a year before there first school reading it might make a huge difference.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
When I was in high school and first starting out in college, I used to be completely against the idea of adapting classical works into more popular formats, such as comic books or illustrated and abridged children's stories. I am often a completist and want to read and know the entire story, not an abridged or shortened version. However, I think experience has tempered me with some wisdom and I see how useful such adaptations can be and sometimes actually get excited about them.

Therefore, I was quite excited when a friend introduced me to this manga version of ROMEO AND JULIET. The story uses the manga art form to tell the story of Romeo and Juliet. The story is moved from medieval Italy to modern day Tokyo. The characters speak in the original text of the play, but it has been abridged (I'd say about 70% of the dialogue remains).

I'm not all that familiar with the manga format, but I know that manga is now huge in the U.S., especially with the pre-teen set, and is growing in popularity. As much as I myself like to read stories in their complete unabridged form, I know that many pre-teens and teenagers don't. I love Shakespeare's language, but I'd rather young people become familiar with the story and key lines that being forced to read the entire book. The MANGA SHAKESPEARE: ROMEO AND JULIET is a great way to introduce people to the play and hopefully get them excited to read it in its entirety in the future. Recommended for those who have an interest in manga and might be interested in reading and learning about the classics.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By PoetessLaureate on April 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
The decision to set the story in modern Tokyo seemed to have no artistic reason, and in fact detracted from it, particularly since all original names were kept. The reader is left wondering why Japanese yakuza families have Italian names. For that matter, the reader is left wondering why the families were made into yakuza. While it does give them a reason to be brawling and fighting, and for a long-standing feud, the decision was a poor one as it feels like a misguided or perhaps naive attempt to capitalize on western interest in the east rather than as a way to add to the story, plot, or art. The script is also disappointing, as it uses but abridges the original. This is a choice that will almost always fall flat since it destroys the flow and rhythm that are characteristic of Shakespeare -- and which would have given the book merit even for classroom use that it now lacks. Even the choice to modernize the setting could have been handled much better. The depiction of Mantua in particular looked almost wholly taken from the "Romeo and Juliet" movie starring Leonardo di Caprio. Despite my complaints, I consider the book worth having because I believe in the basic idea of taking Shakespeare's original scripts and making them visual. But I believe the visual should be kept in the Elizabethan era when the plays were written and performed, and I certainly believe the script should not be tampered with unless it is wholly an adaption; halfway measures hurt half of the point of the endeavor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Horne on May 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this for my admittedly hyper-literate daughters (10-14) who are currently fixated on both manga and Shakespeare. The graphics in the book are very well done and the story is straight from the bard. It's a great way for kids to dig a little deeper into very rich material. Highly recommended.
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By Reader Views on October 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Erin Keith (age 17) for Reader Views (10/07)

In this Manga version of one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, the characters are held to be very true. The setting of the story is present-time Tokyo, versus the past setting of the original. Readers who have actually read the play may enjoy this Manga because it holds very true to the original story, whereas some series like to "update" and totally change from the original roots. This story begins with a brief description of the characters, showing pictures so readers will know who's who in the story, and then they launch into a swordfight, which is uncommon in Tokyo, but again, this story does hold true to the original. The storyline is very captivating and intriguing. The storyline itself is obviously not the same as the tragedy itself by Shakespeare, but it does show the love-hate relationship between the Capulets and the Montagues. This story's ending is just as sad as the story before it.

This story is a good, fairly quick read that will keep readers hanging on to the ending of one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies and love stories. This book is recommended for ages 13 and up. "Romeo and Juliet: Manga Shakespeare" is a good read for reluctant readers.

Book received free of charge.
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Manga Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
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