Melody Queen

Lantana. (­Bollywood Academy: Bk. 2). Sept. 2023. 264p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781915244284.
Gr 5 Up–In the second book of the “Bollywood Academy” series, 12-year-old Simi is attending the prestigious academy to become a famous actor in Hindi films, just like her show-biz father. While Simi’s family members want her to excel in acting, she is more interested in music and spends her free time composing pieces and participating in a band. As she learns more about the music industry, she confronts gender inequalities in a profession that has been dominated by men, watching as her male classmates get opportunities that she isn’t offered. When one of her compositions goes viral on Instagram and the whole world is singing along, she decides to keep the fact that it was her song a secret from her family and friends. Readers will enjoy these glimpses into the glamorous music and entertainment industries while learning more about the behind-the-scenes friendships and rivalries in a highly competitive world.
VERDICT Fans of show business will cheer Simi along as she tries to find her place in both the Bollywood music industry and among her fellow students.

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