They are each going through difficult issues. Mindy gained a lot of weight over the winter, and at the same time, her best friend ditched her for two more popular girls, so she spends most of her time alone, watching reruns of “Friends.” Kimmy has always been painfully shy, and now that her parents are getting a divorce, she has to move in with her grandparents and be the only new girl in the eighth grade. Sonia’s mother has been battling cancer for the last two years, and Sonia’s anxiety attacks are so bad that she had to be home-schooled for a year.
All three girls reluctantly find themselves in a local theater camp where they get so swept up with the magic of putting on a musical revue that they start to forget about their problems. Throughout the course of the summer, the three girls work through their issues while having the time of their lives with all the interesting new people they’ve been thrown in with. By the end of the summer, Mindy, Kimmy, and Sonia are officially “theater kids.” They and their new friends are ready to take on eighth grade.
Author Jeanne McGowan Sheehan lives with her husband in Riverside, Illinois, where she has run a theater camp since 2007. She has written numerous shows for community theaters and one nonfiction book about musical theater, “From Books to Broadway.” Her favorite series of books when she was young was the Betsy-Tacy series, and she hopes that her “Theater Kids” series will bring as much joy to a new generation of young readers.
McGowan begins, “Kelly sat down in the diner booth, pulled out her notebook, and paged through it, looking for her most recent entries. If anyone else looked through it, they’d see the work of a demented, completely disorganized mind. There were notes there from shows she’d written five years ago, and it amused her now to look at the discarded lyrics and plot ideas that never quite made it to the final script. A more disciplined person would have bought a new spiral notebook for each project and labeled it carefully, but that had never been her style. When she got a new idea, she simply grabbed the nearest notebook and looked for empty pages to write in. Once she had a completed script, it was saved neatly on her computer, but she still had a record of the creative process in her scattered notebooks.”
Published by Page Publishing, Jeanne McGowan Sheehan’s memorable tale is relatable and encouraging for young readers.
Readers who wish to experience this meaningful work can purchase “Theater Kids: The One Where They All Become Friends” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes Store, Amazon, Google Play, or Barnes and Noble.
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