Series spotlight: Shake-up Shakespeare

Good morning!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday is becoming the day I share an entire series with you guys… and today I have one that I can not wait to use in the classroom!

Today, I’m sharing the Shake-Up Shakespeare by Ross Montgomery. This is a brilliant series of Shakespeare retellings in today’s contemporary world, and I PROPER love them! (I love Ross’ books so much!)

These books are published by Barrington Stoke, so you guys KNOW that they’re super readable, in a dyslexia friendly font and printed on special paper to make it appropriate for everyone to enjoy!


Book 1 – Rock Bottom: A Midsummer Nightmare

What would you do if the girl you loved thought you were just a joke? Nick has a great idea to win over Jessie’s heart – he’ll get the leading role alongside her in the school play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But when he is cast as the foolish joker Bottom instead of the romantic hero, his whole scheme falls apart. Enter Robyn, school prankster, who has a sneaky idea to put Nick back in the spotlight and finally get him noticed. But when opening night rolls around, one by one their grand plans go up in smoke!

This is a wonderfully funny Shakespeare inspired story that made me laugh out loud. This is a brilliant story of a boy who will do anything for love… and it has catastrophic consequences. Set in a school around a school performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nick just wants Jessie to notice him! Funny, ridiculous and spot on! This one had me VERY hyped for the rest of the series… and I was right to be excited!

Find out more about this book (including the first chapter) here

Book 2 – Tripwrecked!: Tempest Terror

How would you survive if you were shipwrecked with a bunch of drama divas? Frank and his drama club are off on a dream trip to perform The Tempest. But it soon turns into a nightmare when their ferry is shipwrecked in a terrible storm. Half of the actors wash up on a desert island. But where are the rest of the cast? Why is there strange music coming from the forest? And could there really be a monster on the loose? Frank hasn’t got a clue how they’re going to get out of this mess, but one thing’s for sure – they’ve been tripwrecked!

This is a brilliant retelling of the Tempest (which to be honest I didn’t know at all!). Ross has turned another of Shakespeare’s plays into a gloriously funny tale of being shipwrecked, fighting to be leader and wondering how you’ll ever be saved! This series is great! This proper made me chuckle!

Click here to read the first chapter of Tripwrecked!

Book 3 – Hurly Burly: Macbeth Mayhem

How far would you go to win first place? Beth has been looking forward to the Prizegiving Assembly all year. She’s won the prize for best-behaved pupil two years in a row and is confident that she’ll triumph again for a third time – a school record! But as preparations continue for the ceremony, Beth finds out that she’s been pipped to the post by not one but two of her classmates. Best-behaved Beth cannot bear to lose, but as she puts her dastardly plans for revenge into action, she realises that villainy comes at a high cost!

As a big fan of Ross and of Macbeth (so much so it’s one of my favourite units of writing every year, I was delighted to hear about this! A retelling of Macbeth set today and knowing what I know about the rest of the series, I knew that I was going to adore this! I just chuckled my way through this entire thing! There are so many brilliant parallels to the real story but set in a really contemporary setting! This is going to pair so well with my Macbeth unit!

Read the first chapter of Hurly Burly here

Book 4 – Fortune’s Fool: A Romeo Rollercoaster

Top school athletes Dom and Blake have been best friends for ever – B and D, D-Dog and B-Unit, the Cool Combo … But with Sports Day approaching, their friendship is suddenly under threat. Mr Fortune, their headmaster, has pitted the school houses against each other by naming them after characters from his favourite Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet. With Dom in Montague House facing Blake from Capulet House, will B and D end the day as mortal enemies or will brotherly love prevail?

Loved this! I really enjoy this series of books – Ross’ spin on Shakespeare are really brilliant and have gone down a treat at school! This one is a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet with two best friends who end up battling it out at sports day! Made me chuckle and kept me well entertained on the bus home! Like the others, there’s so many parallels to the original play.


I can not endorse this series enough for any KS2 classes studying Shakespeare. There’s so much that can be done alongside studying the original plays. I definitely can’t wait to use the Macbeth one alongside our writing! These would all make amazing read alouds, and some wonderful inspiration for writing!


S x

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