‘Dara Palmer’s Major Drama,’ by Emma Shevah, illustrated by Helen Cranford-White

Dara Palmer’s life is one big drama.  She knows that she’s destined to end up on the big screen as a world-famous movie star, so can’t understand why she never gets even the tiniest part in her school’s plays.


Dara is starting to think that the reason she never gets any of the big parts is because she doesn’t look like everyone else – she was adopted from Cambodia as a baby and now lives with a family who look nothing like her.

However, Dara is not about to let the fact that her evil drama teacher, Miss Snelling, can’t spot her obvious talent deter her.  And as for the idea of having acting lessons? Ridiculous!  Dara has a plan, a plan not only to change the school, but the whole world too and she’s determined to make it happen!

I loved Dara’s irrepressible spirit and determination to achieve her dreams despite the obstacles in her way.  The humorous tone of the story will also make this book appeal to young readers, as will the doodle-style illustrations embellishing the pages.

Whilst I was expecting this book to make me laugh, I wasn’t expecting it to bring a tear to my eye.  Dara’s quest to discover more about her Cambodian roots and the orphanage she was adopted from was handled with humour and great sensitivity.  It was refreshing to see a potentially sensitive issue for some, being addressed in a non-threatening manner.

A must-read for all divas in the making!

Library Girl.


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