Jack & Louisa: Act 1

Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead. Grosset & Dunlap, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-448-47839-5
Jack Goodrich was a child actor in Broadway musicals, but his voice changed just after he landed his first lead, and he lost the role. Jack’s parents subsequently whisk the family to Cleveland for his father’s new job; they move in down the street from Louisa Benning, a musically talented seventh-grader and fellow MTN (Musical Theater Nerd), who can’t believe her luck that the new boy on the block was on Broadway. Jack and Lou get off to a rough start, but their friendship blossoms after they get roles in a community production of Into the Woods. First-time authors Keenan-Bolger and Wetherhead show that they know their way around a musical (both are Broadway veterans). Writing in the two characters’ alternating viewpoints, they trace Jack’s gradual acceptance of his new circumstances while tackling boys-in-musicals stereotypes (when a bullying classmate derides Jack’s Broadway background as “so gay,” their peers instantly shut the bully down). While the story charts a predictable course, this is nevertheless a sweet series opener, packed with theatrical references and minutia, sure to please any young MTN. Ages 8–12. Agency: Gersh Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 02/10/2015
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-101-99522-8
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