Review Blog

Jan 23 2011

Diva series by Sue Lawson

cover image

It's a girl thing (ISBN 978 1742031675), Rising star (ISBN 978 1 74203 1682), Going solo (ISBN 978 1 74203 169 9), Finale (ISBN 978 1 742031705). Black dog books, 2011.
(Ages 8-12) Realistic fiction. First published in 2006, BDB has republished this successful series of four books with shining new covers and small, harder covers making the books easy to handle. The stories will be readily snapped up by the pre teen group, eager to read of girls their age and a little older winning a singing competition and then competing interstate with a whole lot of others. Reminding me of several TV shows in which amateurs try out their skills, the stories are full of the background to these shows, being selected, practice, rehearsals, make up, cloth buying and above all publicity.
Mickey fills out an entry form in her girlie magazine in the first book in the series, It's a girl thing, and then has to front up at the first audition with what seems to be every girl her age in Australia. The usual mix of characters is interestingly portrayed as several take nasty tactics too far. Rising star follows her journey through the audition stage, while Going solo shows her at the national competition where she meets some even more undesirable competitors and a few other girls like her. Finale satisfyingly rounds the story off.
The issues are straightforward and easy to follow, the humour lightly played out, the characters neatly drawn, with some older people making their mark. The stories will be eagerly picked up by that group of kids for whom little is written, and showcases some of the background and glamour of the competition world that they see on TV.
Fran Knight

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