Jack & Louisa: Act 1 by Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead is a fun ode to musicals and community theatre.
may be only 12, but he's already a Broadway veteran when disaster
strikes: in rehearsals for a new show, Jack's voice starts to break. He
has no choice but to bow out, especially when his father's job takes him
to Shaker Heights, Ohio. Jack is trying to prepare himself for a life
as a normal kid -- but then he meets his neighbor Louisa. She may never
have been to Broadway, but she has mad skills as a musical theatre geek,
able to spout facts and statistics about favorite shows, actors, and
directors -- and she's thrilled to finally have someone around who might
understand her obsession. When the local community theatre group
announces auditions for Into the Woods, a show beloved by both
tweens, Louisa hopes that Jack will join her in trying out -- but maybe
Jack doesn't want to do theatre any more...
This was a timely
read for me, since community theatre is pretty much the reason I've more
or less disappeared from this blog recently! I thought the authors
did a great job with both the theatrical details and the preteen angst.
There's not a lot of depth, but it does what is sets out to do
admirably: it's a fun, fluffy read that will certainly appeal to young
readers who share Jack and Louisa's theatrical aspirations.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)