Stagefright by Carole Wilkinson

Carole Wilkinson, the award-winning author of the Dragonkeeper and Ramose series, has revisited her 1996 book, Stagefright. She’s ‘updated and rejigged the story a bit’ for a whole new cohort of readers, who’ll enjoy poor Velvet Pye’s consternation at being forced to attend Yarrabank High. This grungy school and its collection of temporary classrooms is populated by bullies, dummies, emos and boy-crazed girls, all under the inept leadership of a sports-mad principal.

Much to Velvet’s horror, there’s no music program, but there is an abundance of sporting pursuits which she deftly dodges. Relegated to the Cultural Studies class with the rest of the sportingly handicapped students and ordered to stage Shakespeare, this bunch of misfits interprets Richard III as a musical!

I can see why one enthusiast has aptly described this as ‘Glee meets Summer Heights High’. It’s a fun, tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted and irreverent look at what happens when a bunch of teenagers with nothing in common are forcibly thrown together.

Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Athina Clarke