by Emma Shevah
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (July 2016)
Dara Palmer dreams of being an actress, but when she does not get a part in the school play she wonders if it is because of her different looks as an adopted girl from Cambodia, so Dara becomes determined not to let prejudice stop her from being in the spotlight.
Why You'll Love It:
- Dara is a winning, fittingly overdramatic character who starts to grow once she takes a more serious look her life and those in it.
- With themes of transracial adoption, racism, identity, friendship, and sibling rivalry (not to mention a hyperactively decorated page design), there's a lot going on here, but Shevah's novel raises interesting questions without attempting to neatly answer them all.
- Crawford-White's charming doodle illustrations along the margins reflects Dara's inner monologues throughout the book.
Great for 3rd-6th graders...and here's the discussion guide.
What Else You Should Read:
- Dream On, Amber by Emma Shevah
- Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle
- Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy
P.S. I've discovered a great place to find more middle grade books! Check out Marvelous Middle Grade Monday for more suggestions.