Adapted Classics Blog

Nathaniel Hawthorne – A Serious Man and a Funny Guy

Did you know Nathaniel Hawthorne was both a serious man and a funny guy. Many people who think of him as nothing but a great moralist should read “Mr. Higginbotham’s Catastrophe”. Hawthorne told it in a light, humorous vein, and he didn’t use it to deliver a great moral message. But as for serious—well, this story is…seriously funny. And seriously sweet! Unusual though this story is coming from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, a contemporary of Hawthorne and a renowned literary critic, praised “Mr. Higginbotham’s Catastrophe”. He described it as “vividly original and dexterously managed”. Other critics have favorably compared[…] Read More

Mark Twain’s Eve and Adam – Gender Stereotypes?

When Mark Twain developed the characters Eve and Adam in his creation stories, did he rely upon and perpetuate gender stereotypes? Although most of the people who have read and reviewed “Eve’s Diary” like the story, some readers found fault with Twain’s portrayal of Eve, especially after she began taking an interest in Adam. Twain took on a daunting task when he decided to fictionalize the story of creation. He must have known his characterizations of Eve and Adam, the very first human creatures, would be seen as archetypes for all succeeding generations of both genders of humans. Confidants of[…] Read More

Middle-grade lesson plan – Poe’s Hop-Frog would make a good fit

I imagine Edgar Allan Poe’s Hop-Frog would fit well in some middle-grade lesson plan. I can only imagine, however. Today’s lesson plans are probably tied closely to education standards and achievement tests. I am not a teacher, and I do not know enough about the teaching vocation to speak authoritatively about standards or testing. Still, if teachers have the flexibility to use literature to stir classroom discussion, ‘Poe’s Hop-Frog’ has much going for it as a vehicle for that. I discussed objections to exposing middle-grade readers to ‘Hop-Frog’ in two earlier posts. To reiterate, just because Hop-Frog, a very sympathetic[…] Read More

Adapting Eve & Adam – Intentions and Principles

Issues regarding intentions and principles loomed while adapting “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam”. I was concerned that Eve’s character could change if I added new material to combine two separate stories by Twain. But I gave myself leeway to add material because I had no intention to change Eve’s character. Heck, I would not intentionally change any aspect of any character created by Mark Twain. My sole motive in adding new material when combining his two stories was to keep dialogue going between Eve and Adam from beginning to end. I tried to keep Eve’s character in line with[…] Read More

Mark Twain’s Goal – Bringing Eve & Adam Together

Mark Twain wanted to bring Eve and Adam together, but his goal went unrealized until after his death. Twain wanted to unite his “creation stories” so that Eve and Adam’s different perspectives on creation would stand in high contrast. As Twain said, “They score points against each other — so, if not bound together, some of the points would not be perceived.” In 1931, 21 years after Mark Twain died, Harper finally brought the stories together by publishing a book titled “The Private Life of Adam and Eve”. Mark Twain was a writer at ease with organizing and presenting his ideas. He[…] Read More

Adapted Classics “Hop-Frog” rated ideal format for Middle-Grade Readers

Midwest Book Review (MBR) thinks we adapted “Edgar Allan Poe’s Hop-Frog” into an ideal format for middle grade readers. In their opinion. the lightly modified text and the striking black-and-white illustrations are two reasons why “Hop-Frog” is an excellent tool to introduce young people to the amazing world of classic literature. We greatly value their opinion. Midwest Book Review is an on-line book review magazine well-respected in the book trade. They selectively review books by small publishers and independent authors. Small players in the book trade, such as ourselves, seek reviews from MBR since almost all review journals will only[…] Read More

Discreet Illustrated Literature for Adults (and Youth!)

Fully illustrated literature for adults is hard to find. Once it was common to see illustrations sprinkled within the pages of novels, but never much more than merely sprinkled. Except for graphic novels, it has always been hard to find fully illustrated literature for adults. The two Mark Twain stories we have now combined to create our upcoming “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam” were notable exceptions. “Extracts from Adam’s Diary”, published in 1904, and “Eve’s Diary”, published in 1906, were hardcover books intended primarily for adult readers. Both were fully illustrated, with illustrations on every other page.[…] Read More

Promote Pleasure Reading in Young People

Studies by the U.S. Department of Education have shown the overall amount of pleasure reading by young people has steadily declined. There are many theories why this is so, including those that point to trade-offs and time constraints; young people abandon pleasure reading to focus instead on digital devices or to use what once had been free time to expend extra effort in meeting the regimented demands of an achievement culture. Yet everyone knows that young people will seek and find fun wherever it can be found – it’s their natural instinct. Were they to find more fun in pleasure[…] Read More

Revealing Illustrated Literature – Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam

ArtWrite Productions will publish “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam” on June 30, 2017. It will be the sixth book in our Adapted Classics collection of illustrated literature. We are happy to announce this will be the first time we publish an Adapted Classics book in both hardcover and softcover. Near the end of his life, Mark Twain wrote a series of six stories commonly known as the ‘Adamic Diaries’. Four of the stories poke fun at Christianity and are dark in tone. These stories were not published until after Twain died in 1910. Two of the six[…] Read More

Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment – Topics teachers might want to explore

As indicated in our last post, this marks our first blog that suggests topics teachers might want to explore in classroom discussions involving stories in the Adapted Classics collection. The first book we published in the collection is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment, and there are lots of topics teachers might want to explore in that one. You might ask why Dr. Heidegger conducted the experiment. What did he hope to find out? The subjects in the experiment might trigger other questions. All of them were old friends of the doctor, so we know Dr. Heidegger knew them and and that he[…] Read More

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