Speaking in front of an audience terrifies Trisha. Ending up in Mr. Wayne s drama class is the last thing she wants But Mr. Wayne gives her a backstage role painting scenery for the winter play. As she paints, she listens to the cast rehearse, memorizing their lines without even realizing it. Then, days before opening night, the lead actress suddenly moves away, and Trisha is the only other person who knows her part. Will the play have to be canceled? It won t be an easy road when Trisha tries to recite the lines in front of the cast, nothing comes out But Mr. Wayne won t let her give up, and with his coaching, Trisha is able to become one of his true masterpieces."
- ISBN-13: 9780399160950
- ISBN-10: 0399160957
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: August 2014
- Page Count: 40
- Reading Level: Ages 5-8
- Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.8 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-05-12
- Reviewer: Staff
In Polacco’s world, children confront fears and solve problems with the help of loving adults, their exchanges captured with exceptional powers of observation; in this story, she recalls overcoming a paralyzing fear of speaking in public. Young Patricia has memorized the entire school play, and she’s comfortable in her role as prompter, but when the lead actress moves away, someone must step in. “Patricia, you have to, you just have to,” the cast members plead. Horrified at the thought, she allows herself to be coached by the charismatic theater teacher, Mr. Wayne: “Patricia, let the play take you.” Polacco (Thank You, Mr. Falker) draws herself tormented by anxiety on opening night, gasping in the wings, then, miraculously, letting the play take her: “I was Musette, and the more I said, the easier it got.” Readers will feel the exhilaration of the standing ovation she receives and the warmth of Mr. Wayne’s praise: “Tonight, you’re my masterpiece.” Saddle shoes, stick-out skirts, and her English teacher’s brush cut all contribute to the period setting. Even the shyest readers may find themselves inspired. Ages 5–8. (Aug.)