Impulsive, romantic Arabelle Archer is determined to make the most of her freshman year. She'll audition for the school play and soon be on her way to the stardom she knows is her destiny.
Arabelle's year gets off to a unexpectedly rocky start, however, when all the roles in the play go to upperclassmen and she has to settle for prompting. And to make matters worse, her guidance counselor insists that she fulfill her community service requirement by volunteering at the Heavenly Rest Nursing Home the last place she wants to be.
But when a crisis puts the school play at risk, Arabelle realizes the true value of the friendships she's made at Heavenly Rest, and discovers that making a lasting impression isn't always about being a star.
About the Author
Hillary DeBaun is a first-time author. Visit her website at www.hillarydebaun.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is not just a hoot. It’s an exemplar of masterful writing. Arabelle Archer, a lowly ninth-grader with twelfth-grade aspirations to play a major role in the school play, is spunky, funny, and melodramatically romantic—all wrapped in a petite five-foot package. But, when it comes to getting along with her best friend, Erna Sue, “who made a habit of never being wrong,” Arabelle can also be impulsively brash. Each character, including Boris (the visiting student from Ukraine), Jeff and Chip (the school heartthrobs), and all the loony residents of Heavenly Rest nursing home where she volunteers, is distinct and fully drawn. And, in various ways, they all crash into Arabelle, yet, ultimately, support her as she achieves her dream and figures out the meaning of friendship. Best of all, the rollicking tone of the school play, “You Can’t Take it With You,” is mirrored in Arabelle’s real life at Heavenly Rest, making for an old-fashioned, laugh-out-loud, warm-hearted novel.
Just be yourself. It sounds like great advice. The problem is when you're in 9th grade, you wonder, Who is this self? Maybe Arabelle should be like the legendary actress Deirdre Glendenning, or the famous ballerina Maria Tallchief. Or maybe she's just plain old best friend to Erna Sue, even if she is a prig at times. Or maybe she's the witty girl at the locker who's capturing Jeff's heart. Maybe the true Arabelle is the one who cares about the lonely Mr. Wexler and the other residents at Heavenly Rest where she volunteers. Maybe Arabelle's true self is all of these. Wonderful writing, great plot, and stock full of lovable characters, by the end of the book you'll be shouting, " Brava, Arabelle!"