Two sisters coping with insecurities in dramatically different ways share the role of narrator in this incisive novel by Cherry (Willows vs. Wolverines). At a boarding school, the autonomous student committee exploits its power in decisions about campus life. Painfully shy sixth grader Abby arrives at Brookside Academy determined to “begin my brand-new life” as confident extrovert Abbi and finally make friends. Shedding her timidity remarkably effortlessly, Abbi braves an audition and lands a part in the school play, which is subsequently canceled by the committee, despotically controlled by Abbi’s haughty eighth grade sister, Sydney. The story’s psychological implications deepen when the narrative voice changes mid-novel, and Sydney reveals herself as a lonely outsider, feared rather than liked by her peers, who convinces herself that she has sabotaged the play to protect her sister from reliving the humiliating stage fright she experienced in third grade. Cherry gives each girl a compelling voice distinctive enough that despite Sydney’s apparent vindictiveness, both characters emerge as highly sympathetic. A reflective story exploring self-honesty, courage, and redemption. Ages 8–12. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/21/2019 Release date: 05/28/2019 Genre: Children's
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