Dara Palmer’s Major Drama

Emma Shevah, illus. by Helen Crawford-White. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4926-3138-5
Hollywood-obsessed Dara Palmer wants to be an actor, but she doesn’t look like any of the “honey vanilla waffles” that she idolizes. Ethnically Cambodian, this chatty British fifth-grader begins to wonder whether she isn’t getting acting parts because of her looks—because it surely couldn’t be for lack of talent, could it? As Dara, which means star in Khmer, tries to move past losing the starring role in the big school production, she also begins to sort out the fact that her “outsidey bit” doesn’t match her mental image of a movie star. As quirky Dara, lover of teaspoons and hater of noodles, struggles with her identity as an adoptee and her rocky relationship with her younger sister (also adopted, but white), she finds the help of a teacher she didn’t think she needed. And as Dara’s acting skills grow, so do her understanding of herself and her empathy for those around her. Like Shevah’s Dream On, Amber, this entertaining insight into the mind of an adopted child, snappily narrated and exuberantly illustrated, is sure to win readers over, one teaspoonful at a time. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Allison Hellegers, Rights People. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2016
Release date: 07/05/2016
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4926-3140-8
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