Title – Dara Palmer’s Major Drama
Author – Emma Shevah
Publication Date – 2015 by Chicken House
ISBN – 9781910002322
My Rating – ★★★
Dara thinks she’s a born actress and has a natural talent, that she’ll be the next big star. But no everyone can see what she does. When she doesn’t get a part in the school play she starts to think it’s because she looks different to all the other girls in her class. Dara was adopted as a baby from Cambodia.
So, Dara comes up with a plan and is determined to change not just her school, but the world as well.
I was sent a copy of Dara Palmer’s Major Drama from Scholastic New Zealand to review. I’ve never read a book by Emma Shevah before this.
This book follows Dara as learns to appreciate that she’s different and she’s been given the chance to have a better life than the one she would’ve had in the orphanage and in her birth country.
A the start of the book Dara is self-involved, doesn’t really care about other people’s opinions, likes to be the center of attention and thinks she’s the best actor her school has ever seen. When she doesn’t get a role in The Sound of Music – she wanted to be Maria – she think the drama teacher doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
When Dara realises that the problem might be her and her acting she decides to join the local drama group. When her teacher gives her a project to do over the school holidays she starts to see herself through her sister Georgia’s eyes and doesn’t like what she finds.
Dara definitely grew on me throughout the book. At the start she’s really annoying but as she started to see herself more clearly she started to change but was still very Dara. I think she annoyed me mostly because of her age, possibly her over inflated ego as well. I think Dara was around 11-12 but I’m not sure.
I want to give this to my friends daughters to read when they’re a little older so she can see that being different is a good thing and that being the same as other girls is boring.
Dara bought up a good point while she was trying to figure out if she wanted to be an actor when she grew up or not. That there weren’t many famous Cambodian actors that she could look up to as role models. So, instead of putting her off she decided, with the help of her brother, to change that and make her own parts in the acting world.
I think this is a really good book for young girls to read, especially ones with confidence issues with how they look. Not that Dara had an issue with confidence but she did see herself different in her head than how she actually looked which wasn’t healthy at all.
I enjoyed Dara Palmer’s Major Drama and will definitely be recommending it to my friend for her girls to read.
*Thank you Shcolastic New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*