Arabelle’s vision of a headlining freshman year of high school soon fades under the harsh glare of reality.
With a keen desire to transform herself into somebody spectacular, Arabelle yearns to be a dashing actress like her favorite romance-book heroine. A part in her school’s production of You Can’t Take It with You seems to be her opportunity to shine. Yet Arabelle soon realizes that life does not always follow a neat script. Instead of being center stage, Arabelle is on the sidelines working as a prompter for the actors. Even this meager role is in jeopardy due to the hostilities of the contemptuous Bonnie, lead actress and reigning diva. In the tradition of good theater, there is plenty of intrigue, comedy and romance as Arabelle endeavors to discover what makes her unique. De Baun contemplates the meaning of friendship in its many guises. A poignant parallel plot involving Arabelle’s volunteer work at a local nursing home elevates this story beyond the traditional quirky-girl-conquers-high-school scenario. Arabelle’s blossoming friendships with several memorable residents ultimately transform her perspective on life and herself.
Effervescent and optimistic, Arabelle demonstrates that on stage or off, everyone should take a starring role in her life. (Fiction. 12-14)