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New Boy (Hogarth Shakespeare) by Tracy…
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New Boy (Hogarth Shakespeare) (edition 2017)

by Tracy Chevalier (Author)

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1676271,264 (3.32)35
Member:Booktrovert
Title:New Boy (Hogarth Shakespeare)
Authors:Tracy Chevalier (Author)
Info:Knopf Canada (2017), 208 pages
Collections:2017 Reads
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New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

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Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
chevalier had a clever idea in her interpretation of othello -- 1970s, washington d.c., all-white school, sixth grade players. yet the execution of the idea didn't work too well for me. i think one of the issues for me was the brief timeline, as the story takes place over the course of one school day and events are crammed in to recesses and lunch, with the final act coming when school lets out for the day. all of shakespeare's themes are here: racism, love, jealousy, revenge, etc... and when the tragedies come, they may feel a bit more poignant to some readers, because of the ages of the characters. but i felt a bit manipulated by this point, and also felt a lot of the intricacies and nuances of othello were missing in new boy. the writing style is straightforward. i can see this book working as a foot in the shakespearean door for YA readers and it does feel like an appropriate book for 13-16yos (keeping in mind it is a tragedy). ( )
  Booktrovert | Jul 17, 2017 |
I shouldn't have read this entire book, it was truly annoying. The writing was choppy. The characters were not believably 6th graders. One moment they were like 2nd graders, the next like much older teenagers. Meh. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Jul 11, 2017 |
I enjoyed Tracy Chevalier’s take on Othello. Chevalier’s take led us to a schoolyard in the 1970s, a time when racial tensions are running high. Osei is the new black boy in this predominantly white school, and he knows that in order to survive, he will need to make a friend. He quickly meets Dee, who talks to Osei, and they become fast friends. However, Osei soon learns that you can’t trust everyone, and as tensions increase, so do the stakes.

I thought Chevalier’s New Boy was very well done. It loosely followed the same story line as Othello, but I thought she introduced several unique twists. The story takes place over the course of a single day, with each “Act” divided into playground times: Before School, Morning Recess, Lunch, Afternoon Recess, After School, which I thought was a great way to break up the drama of the story.

However, I thought the names were too obvious, though that was a good way to directly compare the actions of the characters in Shakespeare’s Othello with Chevalier’s New Boy. [For example: Othello became Osei, Desdemona became Dee, Iago became Ian, Emilia became Mimi, Bianca became Blanca, Cassio became Casper, Roderigo became Rod, and Brabanzio (Desdemona’s father) became Mr. Brabant (Dee’s principle).]

The characters themselves were interesting and pretty well-developed – well, as developed as fifth graders are, at least. The plot itself was interesting enough, though watching Osei become increasingly deceived by his “friend” was heartbreaking. These are the storylines I find particularly frustrating because you know what all of the characters are thinking, but you can’t explain to them that they are being deceived and are trusting the wrong people. But that’s the point of the story. Othello is deceived by Iago just as Osei is deceived by Ian.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and characters, though I was not a fan of their actions, just as I was not a fan of the actions of the characters in Shakespeare’s original play, Iago/Ian in particular.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for a free copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review.

You can also check out the full review on my blog, Allison's Adventures Into Wonderlands!
https://allisonsadventuresintowonderlands.wordpress.com/2017/07/09/tracy-chevaliers-new-boy/ ( )
  Allison_Krajewski | Jul 9, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I love reading Hogarth's Shakespeare series and Tracy Chevalier, but this one didn't resonate with me. I had trouble getting through it, and was not able to finish. The updating was clever, but I did not care enough about the characters to see the story through - especially knowing the outline of Othello and how it ends. ( )
  Arielle.Kane | Jul 5, 2017 |
Finally, finished another book! What a well written story to break the lull, though. I remember Othello from school, which is appropriately enough where this adaptation is set. I think the 1970s American background is perfect for translating Shakespeare's play about racism and petty power struggles - Ghanaian student Osei, or O, is sent to a new school in suburban Washington, and lives Othello's love, lies and loss in one day! He meets Dee, the golden girl who is entranced by his stories of travelling the world, but also comes up against Ian, the playground thug, his sidekick Rod, rival Caspar and Dee's friends Mimi and Blanca. Some details are really clever - Desdemona's handkerchief becomes a strawberry pencil case, and her father Brabantio is now a teacher with a slightly unhealthy interest in Dee. I wondered how Tracy Chevalier was going to handle the final scene, and was still taken by surprise - I almost wanted an epilogue, to read about the aftermath! Atmospheric and accessible to all ages. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jul 5, 2017 |
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