Read: Author Offers New Take on Othello in New Boy

Bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier, is a master of compelling historical fiction. In this slim but powerful new novel, she takes Shakespeare’s Othello and sets it into the racially-charged 1970s world of a suburban Washington, D.C. middle school. The characters are all sixth-graders—Ian, the calculating class bully; kind but naïve Dee; and Osei or “O,” the son of a Ghanaian diplomat. Chevalier deftly weaves the play’s original themes of love, jealousy and betrayal, making the tragedy that ensues even more heart-breaking because of the characters’ youth and limited life experiences. Even those familiar with Othello will race to the end of the book to see how the story concludes.

—Heather Meyer
Hennepin County Library