Life never starts when you think it will. When I turned fifteen, I figured I’d be tossed the keys to the city, make out with a hottie, and have a modest parade thrown in my honour. But all that happened was that I got out of doing the washing up.
My dad’s life didn’t really start until about six years ago when he painted this huge, ridiculously ugly portrait of yours truly, won a big international art prize, stopped being Dad and started being ‘world-renowned artist Sal Mannix’, and suddenly became the person to say you met at parties.
The day we moved to Sydney was supposed to be the start of the new Mia Mannix – confident, charming, taller. But so far, it sucked.
Fifteen year-old Mia Mannix, daughter of famous painter, Sal Mannix, is thrilled when she convinces her father to move away from their backwater home in the Snowy Mountains to the excitement of Sydney. She’s had to promise to give up music to concentrate on her art, but she’s sure it will be worth it. Her new school, Silver Street High, is a school ‘…for those intending to or already pursuing, careers in the performing arts or entertainment.’ She starts school, makes some new friends and discovers that giving up what you love most isn’t as easy as she thought it would be. There are compensations though, and one of the most attractive is Justin, hot rock star.
Starting at a new school is never easy, even when it’s what you most want to be doing. Starting at a school like Silver Street High is no different. In She’s With the Band, Mia is a bright and talented teenager who’s promised her father to abandon her beloved music to concentrate on ‘real art’. She intends to keep this promise, but is soon convinced to play in a band with friends Seb and Lexie. Her life may be exciting, but it takes her to places she’s not really ready to go and introduces her to people who are not quite as they seem. Mia is a spirited main character, her enthusiasm and strength getting her both into and out of trouble. She learns about friendship and about the impact her words and actions have on others. Title 3 in the new ‘Girlfriend fiction’ series from Allen & Unwin, She’s With the Band is a realistic look at the passions and challenges of mid-teen girls. Chapter headings are song titles and come with a mood rating. Recommended for lower- to mid-secondary students.
She’s With the Band, by Georgia Clark
Allen & Unwin 2008
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