Friday, November 20, 2009

Top 60 Novels of 2000-2009 Countdown: No. 41

Spud and My Life, the Musical

I've grouped these novels together because they're both labeled YA (at least in this country) and they both involve -- ta da! -- musical theater. I read My Life aloud to my middle daughter, because it captured exactly how it felt to be a teen-ager who's infatuated with theater. It's written by a former Broadway chorus member, and she has a feel for interesting characters, who are obsessed with a musical by a mysterious writer. It was a lot of fun. Spud, about a boy's first year in a South African boarding school right before apartheid fell, also involves a show -- the narrator gets cast as the lead in "Oliver!" Spud also is hilarious; it's presented as the narrator's diary entries. Brutality and triumph walk in tandem in this novel; there are two sequels out. Anyway, both titles are great for theatrically inclined teens. 

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