Recommended by the publisher for readers aged 10-14, this book is a wonderful peek inside life as a middle-school theatre nerd. Callie, the 7th grade set designer for her middle school’s production of Moon over Mississippi, doesn’t have enough on her hands as it is — not only does she need to help build a cannon that actually fires for a big battle scene, but she also finds herself dealing with her unrequited crush on Greg. When she meets the twins Justin and Jesse, she is ready for some new friends. Justin gets a part in the play, and (due to stage fright), Jesse elects to join backstage crew. Together, the friends prepare for the show and deal with their own lives.
I thought that the book handles its themes really well, particularly for its age group. This would be a fun book club book … or a common read for theatre kids! It gives a great view into backstage crew and design life without overplaying “techie” stereotypes. I really loved that Callie is a set designer at the middle school level. I appreciated how realistic a lot of the preparation was for the play, especially Callie’s “wants” for the stage design and what could actually happen (Callie, if you ever actually build a tree for a show, lemme know so I can audition!)