As if on Cue

S. & S. Sept. 2021. 400p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781534445802.
Gr 9 Up–High school junior Natalie Jacobson loves drama club, but just as a hobby. She’s seen the emotional and financial ups and downs that come from a career in the arts and wants no part of that for her future. Her father, a musician, also happens to be the band teacher at Natalie’s school, and the clarinet teacher of her enemy, Reid. When budget cuts lead to dramatic reductions in the arts, Natalie is furious. She and her fellow drama club members band together with students from other clubs to convince the school that the arts matter. She also gets involved in a prank war with Reid, whose school band is the only arts program still standing. The pranks quickly escalate, with disastrous results. Suddenly, Natalie and her classmates find themselves in an undesirable situation: work together with the band to create a musical—or have no arts at all. As she and Reid are forced into close proximity, Natalie discovers he may not be her enemy after all. Although the events take place in the present, vignettes from the past are interspersed throughout to provide background on Reid and Natalie’s history. Natalie, Reid, and their families are Jewish, and Jewish culture is deftly incorporated into the text, while Natalie’s friend group includes people of different racial backgrounds and sexual orientations. Serious topics including microaggressions, anti-Semitism, and sexism are seamlessly woven into an entertaining and humorous story.
VERDICT A welcome addition to the teen section in school and public libraries.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing