11 and Up
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier.
I love the theater. I’ve seen Wicked twice, saw The Addams Family Musical in New York City and many other great plays. Live theater has always amazed me because so many things could go wrong. When you think of all the mistakes actors make while filming, it makes it even more amazing that the actors on stage don’t make more mistakes.
In my freshmen year of high school, I volunteered at the school theater for service hours. I didn’t really do much, I just ran flowers backstage to the performers, I did other stuff but I can’t remember what. It was a pretty sweet deal, I got service hours and I got to see the play for free. I still remember the first play I saw in high school, A Flea in her Ear. That was one funny play and it was done so well.
I also spent my lunchtime in high school hanging out in the drama room watching the Improv Team practice. I still question why no one kicked me out. I think they let me stay because I was a good audience.
I’m going to give you all a heads up about this story, the two cute brothers that Callie meets are twins and they are both gay. It’s more obvious for one of them. I’m only telling you this because there are one or two scenes that might make people uncomfortable. I know if I saw one of these scenes in real life I’d be all “What’s happening right now?’
I felt kind of bad for Callie because throughout the book the boys she liked are either jerks or gay. And you can’t really blame the boys in the book for being jerks because they’re still young, they’re still learning. Middle school is a confusing time. You’re growing up, your hormones are racing, and it’s a tough time. Middle school relationships are really just practice so you’ll know what not to do in the future.
If you enjoyed the book Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan and ‘Julie’s Greenroom’, you’ll enjoy this graphic novel.
This weeks’ Weird but True Fact about the First Theater
The first theater in North America was built in 1716 in colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.