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|Olive and the backstage ghost|
Author: Schusterman, Michelle
Olive discovers an old theater where she'll finally have a chance to shine on stage, but this theater--and its mysterious owner--are hiding dark secrets.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 196414
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 75787
Kirkus Reviews (06/01/17)
Booklist (+) (06/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2017 Gr 4–6—Laurel Preiss was a theatrical star as a child, and her daughter, Olive, inhabits her enormous shadow. Desperate to escape her mother's disparaging eye and scathing critiques, Olive stumbles down an alley and discovers Maudeville. Eager to find a mentor who will honor and nurture her gifts, Olive embraces the ghostly figure of Maude Devore and her vaudevillian theater of Eidola. As Maude tells the tale of the fire that destroyed the theater and created her dreamland, she says, "But a lowered curtain isn't content to remain that way forever, Olive. It's just waiting to rise again." Olive does rise, in the company of apparitions: mimes, ventriloquists, jugglers, fire-eaters, and even severed hands that play beautiful piano accompaniments to her singing performances. Schusterman's language is haunting and elegant, filling the narrative with prose poems that float like ghosts themselves. VERDICT For readers who long for or know the thrill of the spotlight and enjoy the magical tremble of scary stories told around a campfire or by flashlight in the dark. A strong addition to middle grade/tween collections.—Alpha DeLap, St. Thomas School, Medina, WA - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 06/01/2017 *Starred Review* Don’t be fooled by that cute cartoon cover: this is a true-blue ghost story. Olive Preiss wants to be a star. More accurately, Olive Preiss wants to sing; her mother, a former theater darling now past her prime, pushes her daughter to be a star, but ever since Olive’s father died and their money dried up, her mother’s been cold and critical. After a disastrous theater camp audition, Olive stumbles across Maudeville, a glamorous, old theater, where owner Maude Devore offers her a starring role in a new show. Olive grows close with her new castmates, an eclectic group of misfit children that Maude has taken in, not caring that some aren’t exactly human—phantoms appear and disappear, a pair of severed hands plays the piano. Still, something dark lurks at the heart of this theater, and Olive is closing in on an uneasy truth about the place she’s begun to call home. Richly drawn and occasionally melancholy, this is a ghost story with a timeless feel, featuring a city gone to seed, a decaying theater, and a family falling apart. It’s a haunting and ethereal tale in the vein of Cornelia Funke’s The Thief Lord (2002). Nods to Edgar Allan Poe make it atmospheric, and Olive herself, a lonely heroine with ghosts in her past, gives it soul. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.