Leading Ladies

( 2 )

Overview

"It doesn't make sense to me...in the book, Dorothy is a girl who can hear and talk - and Toto is a little dog. So I'm sorry - but I just don't see a Dorothy who's deaf and talks with her hands and has a great big dog for Toto!"

Megan's fourth-grade class is putting on their own original musical based on the book The Wizard of Oz, and Megan wants to be the star of the show and play Dorothy. Since she's deaf, she will sign the songs for her audition. However, a problem develops ...

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Overview

"It doesn't make sense to me...in the book, Dorothy is a girl who can hear and talk - and Toto is a little dog. So I'm sorry - but I just don't see a Dorothy who's deaf and talks with her hands and has a great big dog for Toto!"

Megan's fourth-grade class is putting on their own original musical based on the book The Wizard of Oz, and Megan wants to be the star of the show and play Dorothy. Since she's deaf, she will sign the songs for her audition. However, a problem develops when Lizzie, her best friend from camp, transfers from her all-deaf school to Megan's class - and signs the same two songs that Megan was going to do! Luckily, Megan has some other ideas up her sleeve...

Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin and Doug Cooney follow Deaf Child Crossing and Nobody's Perfect with this winning story that perfectly captures the humor, joys, and frustration of childhood friendships.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6
Megan Merrill, the engaging star of Deaf Child Crossing (2002) and Nobody's Perfect (2006, both S & S), has her heart set on playing the part of Dorothy in her class production of The Wizard of Oz . Megan's speech-reading skills help her to thrive in her hearing class, but when her friend Lizzie, who is deaf, transfers to her school, she is at once thrilled to have someone else to sign with and annoyed that Lizzie seems to want the same role in the play. Megan wins the role by bringing her dog, Solo, to the audition and showing off the tricks she has taught him using sign language. As in the first two books, everything hinges on the force of Megan's personality, which strains to hold up the thin plot. The main conflicts are resolved in a facile manner-as it turns out, Lizzie really didn't want to be Dorothy after all, and Solo, who escapes from Megan's yard, turns up just in time to bound onto the stage on opening night. Though the descriptions of Megan's school days will be of interest to readers unfamiliar with deafness, the behavior of her classroom interpreter, which repeatedly falls outside the boundaries of acceptable ethical behavior, is unfortunately presented as fun and friendly. Most jarring, however, is the fact that the story digresses several times into Megan's parents' points of view and consistently refers to them by their first names.
—Kathleen Kelly MacMillanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Megan Merrill would be satisfied to do any kind of solo for her fourth-grade class, even a polka, until her teacher and a musical-theater specialist team up to organize a musical version of The Wizard of Oz. There's a fierce competition for the part of Dorothy, complicated by her best friend at camp vying for it, but Megan's creativity and personality win her the part. Though Megan is a fully developed, likable character and is exciting, not everything is. Her family and friends are foils supporting her; their motivations are dim. When the Merrills' new family dog, Solo, gets on stage as Toto, his ability to bark in rhythm to a comic musical routine is not believable despite intense short-term practice. Other characters, such as Cindy, who've been developed in the series, are shadowy here, so reading the series in order is recommended. It's Megan and her feelings about being deaf in a mainstream world that offer insight to the majority of readers: Those who are hearing will understand more of the complexities of growing up deaf in a hearing society, and those who are deaf will recognize themselves. This rare glimpse into the life of a child growing up deaf is an invaluable contribution to juvenile fiction. Seeing Megan again in print as a fifth-grader would be a pleasure. (Fiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689869877
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 11/6/2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.80 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin, deaf since she was eighteen months old, won the
Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in
Children of a Lesser God. She was nominated for Emmy Awards for
her performances in Seinfeld, Picket Fences, The
Practice
, and Law & Order: SVU. Her film credits include
It's My Party and What the Bleep Do We Know!? She is the
author of Deaf Child Crossing. She has made numerous television
appearances and currently appears on The L Word. Marlee Matlin
lives in Los Angeles with her husband and four children. Visit her at
www.marleeonline.com.

Doug Cooney is the author of the middle-grade novels The
Beloved Dearly
and I Know Who Likes You. His musical
adaptation of George Saunders's The Very Persistent Gappers of
Frip
recently premiered at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles,
produced by the Mark Taper Forum P.L.A.Y. Cooney also teaches songwriting
and collaboration for Voices Within, an educational outreach program of
the Los Angeles Master Chorale. He divides his time between Los Angeles
and South Florida. You can visit him at www.dougcooney.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Marlee Matlin Strikes Again

    A good book for all ages! Megan tries out for the school play as the lead roll, but will being deaf stop her? Of course not. She learns the HUGE responsibility of caring for a dog and that it's not good to panick in rough times. I loved it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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