A shy seventh grader learns to step into the spotlight in this heartwarming middle-grade novel by acclaimed author, Diana Harmon Asher
“As Upstaged shows so brilliantly, even the blaring of seventy-six trombones is not as glorious as the unfolding of a soul out into the world.” —Gary D. Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor winner
“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.
About the Author
Diana Harmon Asher is the author of Sidetracked, which was an ABA Indies Introduce Book and an ALA Notable Children’s Book. She is the mother of three grown sons and has been involved in reading and writing programs at the nonprofit organization the Children’s Village and at Mt. Pleasant Blythedale School for many years. She lives with her husband, Henry, and their dog, Cody, and cat, Chester, in Westchester, New York.
"Asher draws readers so deeply into the drama of these young thespians’ lives that rooting for them is easier than flubbing a line on the first day off-book." — Kirkus Reviews
"Hand to fans of Andrew Keenan-Bolger’s “Jack and Louisa” books or Tim Federle’s “Nate” series, as well as to the school theatre crowd and shy girls everywhere." — School Library Journal
"Readers who participate in chorus or theater will appreciate the articulate portrayal of the work, the tension, the camaraderie, and the occasional magic of those experiences." — Booklist