Recommendations

African Folktales Recommendations

Book Cover of African Folktales

Erin

When I was a child I remember being read a set of African animal fables and that’s what the Anansi stories and “The People Could Fly” reminded me of. The stories came from a book that may have been The Zebra’s Stripes and Other African Animal Tales by Dianne Stewart and Kathy Pienaar. If not, that book is very similar and I would recommend it if you would like to explore more stories like Anansi’s. These stories are meant to be educational and do so by “explaining” how animals became the way they are. The stories are fun and light hearted, enjoy!

I have read fairytales and fables from a number of different cultures that I think others would enjoy if they liked this episode. I really enjoy The Great Fairy Tale Tradition selected and edited by Jack Zipes. It features tales from Straparola, Basile, and the Brothers Grimm who wrote from different parts of Europe in different eras. These stories are more adult than the fable type tales of this episode, if you would like something a little more grim, pun intended.

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Recommendations

Romeo and Juliet Recommendations

Book Cover of Romeo & Juliet, by William Shakespeare

Rory

One of my favorite Shakespeare plays is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I highly recommend this if R&J gave you the blues. It’s a classic comedy in which everyone goes into the woods, things turn upside down and topsy-turvy, and in the end everyone winds up with what they want (more or less). There’s even an R&J reference, albeit in the original form of Pyramus and Thisbe, by Ovid. I once saw a production which had a live rock band and Puck dressed in a red speedo. Needless to say it was a thrilling experience for a 13 year old.

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Recommendations

Oliver Twist Recommendations

Book cover of Oliver Twist

Claire:

I am going to throw a novel in here to match Erin’s film and suggest Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. Another really excellent “boys’ novel” published periodically in a magazine called Young Folks in 1886. It’s basically a rad YA novel full of action and hardship, much like Oliver Twist, about characters adapted from real life people and stories in the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland. Nothing like a good read about people’s miserable lives getting more difficult!

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Recommendations

Tom Sawyer Recommendations

Book Cover of Tom Sawyer

Erin: 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. This book is a much more adult story about what Huckleberry pursues after his fun with Tom Sawyer. It is a lot more mature, but it is extremely thought provoking and represents an interesting view into the American South in the early 1800s. It is written by the same author, takes place in the same settling, and continues the story of some of the characters from Tom Sawyer. All of these reasons, plus the provocative story itself, make this book my recommendation if you want more like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  

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