Monday, January 13, 2014

Review & Giveaway: How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare

I've never met him, nor have I even seen him in action, but Ken Ludwig is a great teacher. Before I looked through How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare, his new book on exactly that, it would have been difficult for you to convince me that I could believe it simply by reading the first chapter.

Yet there I was, following his directions to memorize and then understand a single line of poetry from A Midsummer Night's Dream ("I know a bank where the wild thyme grows"). As actor John Lithgow notes in his foreword, Ludwig's enthusiasm radiates from these pages. I could hear him speaking to me, as if I was sitting in a workshop learning from him in person. That's hard to do on the written page.

Ludwig frames the book around twenty-five key passages from The Bard's plays. You'll find out how to convey the literary, historical and cultural significance as well as teach the meaning behind words that will often be unfamiliar to kids. Ludwig correctly pushes you to model passages out loud, as any English teacher will tell you is key for the literacy of struggling and still learning readers.  Even the beautiful rhythm of this poetry is a part of his course-in-a-book. How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare is thorough and detailed, but wholly accessible.

This is a book for teacher or parents interested in imparting this timeless knowledge to kids (or even adults). This would be an incredibly awesome giveaway if it was simply a copy of the book, but this copy is signed by Mr. Ludwig himself!

As always, I'm giving this book away to a lucky reader. Email with the subject "Shakespeare" by 11:59pm CST on Wednesday 1/15/14, and I'll pick a winner from that lot at random. Thanks to Crown, Broadway, and Hogarth and Random House, Inc. for providing a copy for the review and giveaway.

If you can't wait, you can pick up How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare on Amazon today.