HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Darcy’s Wild Life #5: The Play’s the Thing
Author: Sierra Harimann
Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap, 2006
Related website(s): http://www.penguin.com/youngreaders.com (publisher)
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 9 – 12
Rating: *** 3 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Harimann, Sierra. Darcy’s Wild Life #5: The Play’s the Thing (Published in 2006 by Grosset and Dunlap, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group of the Penguin Group USA Inc., 375 Hudson St., New York City, NY 10014) . Darcy Fields, a teenage girl, lives in a farmhouse on a ranch with her mother, former popular movie star Victoria Fields, who had decided to leave Hollywood and Malibu to raise her daughter in a more normal environment and so moved to the small country town of Bailey somewhere in America’s heartland. Darcy’s best friends there are Lindsay Adams and Kathi Giraldi. Darcy has found a job at the local veterinary clinic/pet store named Creature Comforts, operated by Lindsay’s dad, Dr. Kevin Adams. Bailey’s annual summer stock theater is putting on a performance of “Charlotte’s Web,” directed by Darcy’s English teacher Ms. Harrington.
Darcy is determined to be a part of the production, and so she accepts the job of “animal wrangler.” However, on the night before opening, a problem arises when all the animals come down sick. What is causing the illness? Is there anything that can be done about it? Or will the show have to be cancelled? The Play’s the Thing is Book 5 of 8 in the “Darcy’s Wild Life” Series based on Darcy’s Wild Life, an American-Canadian comedy-drama television series that was filmed during 2004–2006 and broadcast on Discovery Kids and the Family Channel. It would appeal primarily to girls. There is little to object to. In addition to a few common euphemisms (e.g. “heck” and “gee”), the term “omigosh” is annoyingly ubiquitous.
Just be forewarned—the book is pure fluff, the literary equivalent of junk food. There may not be anything necessarily wrong with a little of it from time to time, but don’t overdose on it. And the plot is rather narcissistic. Darcy is totally consumed with making sure that she has the latest fashion in clothing and accessories for every occasion. And whenever any question or difficulty comes up, the very first one whom everyone always wants to ask for an opinion about it is Darcy, and she always has just the correct answer or best solution at exactly the right time. The final verdict on this one is that there is a lot worse reading material out there for tween and teen girls, but there is also a lot better.