Review Blog

Sep 28 2010

Roman Holiday by Kathy Buchanan

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Scholastic, 2010. ISBN 978 1 74169 390 4.
(12+) Light romance. Two very different girls enroll at an exclusive drama school in Rome for the summer holiday semester, the Giovane Drammatico Collegio. Veronica a spoilt brat from the USA, used to getting her own way, derides the rules given out on the first day, so the reader knows from the start that this young girl will be trouble. The Australian girl, Natalie, on the other hand is there to learn everything she can, wanting to make the most out of her summer. The two are bound to clash.
Veronica cons others to do her chores, usually divided equally between the students, she takes all the room in their shared bedroom, is derisive of the teachers and what they are teaching, and stays out after curfew. She is simply not a nice person, and is avoided by all the other students. But at their very important performance, Veronica's father turns up, expecting to see his daughter do well. Veronica is amazed, because she rarely sees him, and is even more disconcerted when she fails to be included in the final performance of the semester. Natalie comes to her rescue.
Middle school readers will love the tale of the two girls, swanning around Rome with all the panache of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. The story of the school has its share of drama, and is credible and involving as the girls learn to accept each other and their foibles, meeting some pleasant young men along the way.
Fran Knight

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