Adapted Classics Blog

Edgar Allan Poe Humor for Middle School

Whether Edgar Allan Poe’s humor will suit middle school students is a matter for middle school students to decide. I would encourage middle school students to search for the humor in Poe’s stories. I think they will like his humor when they find it. If middle school students were to analyze almost any Poe story, even his tales of terror, they would likely find some humor either simmering along the surface or inserted between the lines. A Poe humor search would make a good middle school homework assignment. Then a great classroom discussion likely would follow. I’d bet that discussion[…] Read More

Literature for Middle School Students

Whether classic literature belongs in middle school classrooms is an open question. Some teachers probably believe the best way to encourage middle school students to read is to assign them books they want to read, with a few obvious exceptions. If they want to read Captain Underpants, give it to them. If they want to read Harry Potter, give it to them (and by all means, give them all and every one of those fine books you can). But classic literature? Middle-school students don’t want to read stories about mostly adult characters living in the distant past. Why force the[…] Read More

Hawthorne Stories for Middle School

Bundling illustrated Hawthorne stories for middle school made for pleasant work. That’s because Nathaniel Hawthorne tells great stories that illustrate well. Quite frankly, we believe kids and their parents should read them. We think who wouldn’t like Hawthorne stories, especially when masterfully illustrated by Marc Johnson-Pencook? So, we went and did it. We published Hawthorne Illustrated, a volume of three Hawthorne on August 31, 2018. Middle school readers will happily soak up these stories if only parents would point, maybe nudge them, to drink from the great classics well. Speaking of wells, Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment leads the combined three stories we[…] Read More

Illustrated Books Cover Middle-School Readers

Publishing experts maintain that covers sell books, including covers that sell illustrated books, but that wouldn’t matter to middle-school readers. They have no money to cover the cost of books. But even if they had money, would they go and spend it on a book anyway? So what does designed-to-sell-sell-sell book covers mean to them-them-them? If parents were to bring home a book they bought for their middle-school reader after they went and spent their money on the book because the outside cover sold them on the inside content, lets hope their middle-school reader also likes the cover, and then[…] Read More

Eve and Adam Have Nothin’ to Offer

When it comes to female objectification, Eve and Adam have nothin’ to offer those who want to know why males objectify females. Mark Twain didn’t directly delve into that topic when he wrote his creation stories. But he did recreate the first heterosexual couple, and he did exaggerate certain gender-specific tendencies in each character. Readers in his day would have recognized these masculine and feminine tendencies as legitimate. After all, Mark Twain was anything but stupid. He built his humor on the bedrock of exaggeration and understatement. And you know he understood how to use those comic devices! He knew[…] Read More

News – Eve & Adam Free for Nothin’

My warehouse has been shipping out copies of “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve & Adam“ free for nothin’, but  does that make the news? No – not exactly. Not unless you consider this blog ‘news’. News or not, my warehouse certainly does ship out free for nothin’ new books that we donate to literacy organizations like Reader to Reader and Kids Need to Read. In the past few weeks, 60 library-bound copies of “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve & Adam” went out to each of these two organizations. Both of them provide new and gently-used books to under-resourced public[…] Read More

Banned Books – Mark Twain, Meet Harper Lee

Some public administrators meet and decide that certain books by certain authors like Mark Twain and Harper Lee should be banned because they make readers uncomfortable. Oh, my! Uncomfortable! I’m quite sure that when Harper Lee wrote her celebrated “To Kill a Mockingbird”, she had ‘uncomfortable’ exactly in mind. Since it examined southern culture and questioned its morals, she must have known her book would make some, likely many readers squirm in their skin. Furthermore, she must have hoped such readers would bear their discomfort until the end of the book, then shift whatever perceptions and attitudes had caused their[…] Read More

Fans of Adam Redux – Reconsidering Eve

Fans of Adam might want us to reconsider Eve and apologize for our insults and the violent trip we suggested they take over a waterfall. In anticipation of their desires, we will. Apologies first. Eve was concerned for reckless Adam’s safety. She pressured him to stop going over a waterfall. Like Eve, we are non-violent. So we retract our suggestion that Fans of Adam go over a waterfall in a barrel like Adam did. As far as we are concerned, jumping in a lake is usually safe, so we will stick with that suggestion. Go jump in the lake. As for[…] Read More

Midwest Book Review Recommends “Eve and Adam”

Midwest Book Review recommends “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam”. You will find their review posted on the Literary Shelf in the October 2017 edition of their e-magazine. It is the first comment we have heard about our newly published book for middle-school readers. Thankfully, it’s a positive one. And we are thankful exactly six times over that Midwest Book Review likes all the books in our Adapted Classics collection of timeless stories for middle-school readers. That someone finally commented on the book pleases us. However, the reviewer disappointed us by quoting Adam’s downer observation about death as the[…] Read More

Middle-Grade vs. Middle-School – A Difference in Terms

One might think, as I did, that ‘middle-grade’ means ‘middle-school’ and no difference exists between the terms. I discovered, only recently, that I was wrong. Book publishers define the middle-grade range as 8-12 years of age. They group one-third to one-half of the younger students in middle school (grades 6-8) with students in mid-to-late elementary school. Book publishers place the remaining group of older middle-school students with high schoolers in a category called ‘young-adult’. They define the young-adult age range as 13-18 years. According to book trade companies that publish fiction, certain words and content topics define the two categories.[…] Read More

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