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   Lindsey and The Jedgar

A fast-paced fantasy adventure that turns children onto the fun of Shakespeare.

Lindsey and The Jedgar book  cover

US List Price: $6.99
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UK List Price: £5.99
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About the book


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About the illustrator

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About the author: Elizabeth Wahn

"A Shakespeare devotee intent on making
Shakespeare accessible to children"
                            –The American Magazine

Elizabeth Wahn's catchy jingles about her teachers used to send her classmates into gales of laughter and land her in the principal's office. After becoming a teacher herself, she used her knack for whipping up fun to instill a love of Shakespeare in her students. Born and raised in Boston, she spent her summers at her grandparents’ home in Puerto Rico and grew up speaking Spanish and English. A graduate of Newton College (now part of Boston College) and Middlebury College, she has taught secondary school in Massachusetts, Luxembourg, and Rome. Always ripe for fun and adventure, she has visited almost a hundred countries with her husband. Lindsey and the Jedgar is her first book.

Elizabeth Wahn


Interview with the author, EYP Newsletter

New Book Phenomenon: Wherefore Art Thou Lindsey?

Even before hitting the bookstores, Lindsey and the Jedgar is stirring up excitement. Pitched at kidsor is it?this rollicking adventure story is turning elementary school children into Shakespeare buffs. Author Elizabeth Wahn tells us why.

You're already getting fan mail?
Yes, it's incredible! My purpose in writing Lindsey and the Jedgar was to hook kids on Shakespeare, but it looks like they've gotten hooked on Lindsey too.

How did that happen?
I was still editing the book and wanted to get some feedback from kids so I got permission from a couple schools to pass out a few copies of the manuscript asking for comments and suggestions. When I returned to collect them, I discovered that the kids had formed a waiting line for Lindsey. They were reading over two hundred pages at a sitting in order to pass it on to their friends, and I wound up with almost a hundred readers. Their enthusiastic responses bowled me overfabulous. Some kids said they stayed up all night reading it. Since then I've been receiving emails clamoring for a sequel: Lindsey Returns to Elsinore.

The setting is an imaginary, whale-shaped island called Elsinore, a topsy-turvy place where visitors are required to recite a poem to pass through immigration, and nobody between the ages of twelve and seventy is permitted. The only characters on Elsinore are poetry-loving oldsters, resourceful kids, exotic animals, and robots.

Sounds like a fantasy adventure?

Yes. But Lindsey and the Jedgar is basically a comedy, and who's more playful (pardon the pun) than Shakespeare? He's a stitch, and I've freely quoted him. Young readers are positively gleeful when they discover the humor and realize that the awesome William Shakespeare is within their grasp. And when kids get excited about learning, it opens up their worlds.

How much poetry is there?
I've used quotes from twenty Shakespearean plays and sonnets plus verses from eighteen other major poets. The long quotes are easy to pick outthey're integral to the plotbut I've also interwoven dozens of short ones into the fabric of the text. I expect poetry fanatics will have a heyday dredging them up.

Why Shakespeare?
As a former English teacher, I believe in exposing children to quality, and let's face it, he's the best. But you can't simply tell youngsters that Shakespeare is great; you have to get them to see it for themselves. My goal was to open their eyes. As Lindsey and her friends unlock the mystery of the dreaded Jedgar, all the clues point to Shakespeare who turns outto be or not to bethe key.

Lindsey and the Jedgar is for tweens?

I wrote it mainly for 10–12-year-olds. There are five main characters, two girls and three boys, and my young readers really seem to identify with them, claiming that they're "just like us." Nevertheless I couldn't resist playing with two levels of meaning, and adult readers catch the satire as I poke fun at baby-boomers. Elsinore parodies small town America just as Hogwarts is modeled on British boarding schools.

Is Lindsey like Harry Potter?
No, but there is a basis for comparison. One enthusiastic young reader put it beautifully: "(Lindsey is) like nothing we've ever read. Harry Potter was like that in that way." Both books create a unique new world that's hard to classify. The common traits are that they're fantasy adventures which strike universal themes, stretch the imagination, and reinforce values. Lindsey and the Jedgar is funnier than Harry but not as scaryno witchcraft but lots of gadgets and high tech apparatus. A final similarity is the presentation. Lindsey is coming out as a beautiful, high-quality hardback before it goes into paperback. It's going to be a limited edition, a collector's item, and the artwork is absolutely charming.

Who did the illustrations?
Ivy Steele, a tremendously talented British artist. She's done dozens of drawings, a color cover, plus a wonderful map of Elsinore. Some of the pictures will also be on the Lindsey website:

What's a Jedgar?
I'm not telling. Read the book!

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