Skip to main content

William's Midsummer Dreams

Review

William's Midsummer Dreams

William S. Hardison has spent a lot of time trying to forget that he was ever a Baggett. He, along with his younger sisters and brother, escaped the abusive Baggett family more than a year ago, but he is just waiting for something to happen to end his happy living situation with his aunt Fiona. Despite his trepidation, William just can't pass up an incredible opportunity to spend the summer on the stage in a Shakespeare festival.

William was first invited to try out for the part of Puck in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream by his former English teacher, Miss Scott. She had directed William in a previous play at his former school and thought he would be a shoo-in for the part. At first William is thrilled to reunite with his former favorite teacher, but is less than thrilled to discover who else would be coming with them --- Clarice.

Clarice is a girl who William and his siblings met as they were trying to escape the Baggetts and who basically tricked them into staying in her basement because she was lonely. William eventually figured out she also had a crush on him and can see glimpses of that romance being rekindled in her eyes as they make their way to California.

Thankfully William is swept up in all the hoopla that surrounds a stage production of a Shakespearean play to even worry about Clarice. He manages to land the part of Puck and is soon busy memorizing lines, practicing his blocking, and even doing a back flip or two to entertain the audience. The directors are thrilled with William's acting, and he eventually steals the show. He is too excited, though, to notice that not everyone is happy with his newfound fame.

Some of the other actors in the show soon grow jealous of William and start messing with him during the show. Clarice grows distant and quiet, and William has no idea what he did to alienate his once friend. On top of all of this, he is written up in the newspaper as a bright shining future star, and you can bet that the Baggetts won't be pleased that he left the family when there is money to be made. William's midsummer dreams might just turn into nightmares!

Although WILLIAM'S MIDSUMMER DREAMS stands just fine on its own, you might want to go back and read the origin of the story in WILLIAM S. AND THE GREAT ESCAPE. Characters and plot references will make more sense, and you will have a greater appreciation of the great strides William has made since moving in with a new family. As always, William is a brave young man who is in constant reflection of his situation, and it's not too hard to root for him in whatever he does. I'm eager to see what's going to happen to him in high school.

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on June 7, 2011

William's Midsummer Dreams
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

  • Publication Date: June 5, 2012
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1442419989
  • ISBN-13: 9781442419988