“Warm, funny, and heartfelt, Upstaged will resonate with every young person who ever doubted their own abilities, sang in a school musical, or stood up for a friend. Shira and her wonderful, quirky, talented group of friends will stay with you long after you turn the last page.” --Barbara Carroll Roberts, author of Nikki on the Line
Shira Gordon is painfully shy. She rarely speaks and blushes at everything. And yet, when she’s alone in her room, she’ll sing and dance, dreaming she were different. So when her best friend forces her to audition for their school’s production of The Music Man, she’s mostly hoping the play will get canceled . . . but a tiny part of her hopes she’ll get in.
And she does. As a member of the barbershop quartet. Playing a dude with a mustache is not exactly her dream role, but Shira is surprised by how much she loves rehearsing with her quirky new friends. When her teacher asks her to understudy the lead role, Marian the Librarian, she reluctantly accepts.
It’s not easy to understudy Monica Manley, an eighth-grade diva who will not be upstaged. And things get even more complicated when a mysterious prankster starts playing tricks on Monica and Shira’s crush joins the cast. But something keeps Shira going, and it might just be Marian herself. Sure, Marian is a leading lady, but she’s also misunderstood, lonely . . . and shy. And if a star can be shy, then maybe, just maybe, a shy person can be a star.
While it seems unlikely that Monica and her mother would hold such power over the principal, or that Monica would get away with being so mean, this does add a lot more excitement to books, and would probably bother young readers a lot less than it bothers me.
This is another good book about a school play being performed and a good addition to books like Federle's Better Nate Than Ever, Mustaches for Maddie, Freeman's Noah McNicol and the Backstage Ghost, Zadoff's My Life, The Theater, and Other Tragedies, or Young's The Prettiest. (In which The Music Man is also the play being performed!)