cover image Mazie


Melanie Crowder. Philomel, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-525-51674-3

Love, identity, and showbiz take center stage in Crowder’s (Audacity) latest, set in 1959. Mazie Butterfield, 17, who is white and strawberry blonde, has known all her life that she’ll leave her family’s Nebraska farm for Broadway. Making the most of her small town’s available resources, she’s worked hard at singing and dancing, performed in local productions, and saved up from her job as a roller-skating waitress at the Frosty Top drive-in diner. When she unexpectedly gains the funds for six weeks in New York City, she knows it’s time to go—even if it wounds her close-knit family. Following her ambitions also means that Mazie must leave behind her boyfriend, Jesse, who has high-flying dreams of his own but is committed to taking over his family’s farm. From her new home in Mrs. Cooper’s Manhattan boarding house for theatrical young ladies, Mazie brings zest and discipline to auditioning, and as her career starts to take off, Mazie must find a way to stay true to her roots while embracing her expanding world. The peppy first-person narrative keeps the story zipping along, and adroitly placed period details make the setting come alive in this bighearted, exuberant novel. Ages 12–up. [em]Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Feb.) [/em]