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THE FACE IN THE MIRROR by Stephanie S. Tolan

THE FACE IN THE MIRROR

By Stephanie S. Tolan

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1998
ISBN: 0-688-15394-1
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Fascinating details about the workings of a theater and the art and craft of acting are woven into this story of a complicated family and an even more complicated ghost. Jared Kingsley, 14, leaves his beloved grandfather, Pop, who has just had a stroke, to live with the father he’s never known, the famous stage actor Phillip Kingsley. Kingsley is staging Richard III in a newly restored theater in Addison, Michigan, where Jared is thrust into a nest of unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations: his father and stepmother, Julia, are focused on the restoration of the theater and the play, his younger half-brother Tad is resentful of Jared’s sudden appearance in his life, and some of the actors are talking about the theater’s ghost. Jared makes the acquaintance of the ghost, Garrick Marsden, a 19th-century stage actor, finding him at first to be more agreeable than real people. Garrick, however, is dangerous, which Jared discovers only after his relationship with Tad deteriorates and as the two boys prepare to be “murdered” onstage in their roles in the play. Tolan (Welcome to the Ark, 1996, etc.) painlessly incorporates information about staging, interpretation, and Shakespeare; young thespians may like this even more than mystery fans will, for the emphasis on ghosts and theatrics often outstrips plotting and motives. (Fiction. 10-14)