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Cut the Lights
By author: Karen Krossing
Selling Points: "theater, directing, acting, ego, depression, empowerment, cooperation, leadership"
ISBN: 9781459804135
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Oct/01/2013
Fry Reading Level: 5.5
Pages: 136
Fiction Ages 11-14
Availability: In stock.
Price:  $9.95
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Briar has a vision for the one-act play she's been chosen to direct at her performing arts high school. She's going to create a masterpiece. If only everyone involved in the production shared her vision. Her leading lady is gifted but troubled, her leading man has a crush on the leading lady, her stage manager doesn't have a clue, and her best friend, who wrote the play, is worried that Briar's production is cursed. As Briar struggles to motivate her cast and crew, she learns some important truths about the fine art of directing—and about herself.



Library Media Connection - March 1, 2014
"The plot develops quickly and is centered around Briar...This simplicity makes it ideal for reluctant readers. Drama enthusiasts will like Krossing's creative touch of beginning each chapter with a setting description, just like in a play."
Young Writers Cafe blog - February 23, 2014
"The characters were great, the concept was fresh and the writing was top-notch. Sure to delight young performers of all kinds (actors, musicians, dancers)!"
CanLit for Little Canadians blog - December 3, 2013
"Without making Briar altruistic or unbelievable, Karen Krossing has created a character who learns to make good choices by considering others' needs, something most of us should do more often."
Booklist - November 1, 2013
[Starred review] "Orca has long dedicated itself to publishing contemporary fiction for reluctant readers, and this entry into the Limelights line is one of their finest offerings...Krossing has done her research, filling her story with specifics...that any young thespian will recognize. A ticking clock—Briar has just four weeks of rehearsal—lends a level of tension greater than that of many books with higher stakes...An ideal read-alike for Raina Telgemeier’s Drama."
National Reading Campaign blog - October 17, 2013
"A fast-paced read...Cut the Lights builds to a satisfying conclusion and will appeal not only to budding performers, but also to any teen who has ever felt misunderstood."
Resource Links - October 1, 2013
"Secondary characters are well realized, with the dialogue displaying their anger, frustration and joy...The novel is told in present tense which provides an immediacy and urgency to the tone that will satisfy the intended readership. Junior high students who are interested in the power, dynamics and politics of theatre will be especially attracted to this easily read, short novel."
CM Magazine - September 6, 2013
"A realistic portrayal of theatre work...[and] an excellent representation of a teenager who has high expectations for herself and others...Krossing shows that, while teenagers have goals and dreams, there are compromises that have to be made in order to succeed, especially when other people are involved in order to fulfill that dream...Highly Recommended."
Quill & Quire - September 1, 2013
“Krossing is a confident, engaging writer, and the book’s setting is a kind of Glee-meets-Fame dream school that kids will find very appealing…Given how many kids dream of stardom, the Limelights series is sure to hold wide appeal.”
Canadian Children's Book News - September 1, 2013
"Messages of teamwork, perseverance and pressure are woven throughout the novel, as well as lots of behind-the-scenes detail about what it takes to get a production to the stage. Fast-paced and full of drama, readers will be turning the pages, anxious to see the results of Briar’s efforts and to discover how her play, and her cast and crew, turn out in the end...This innovative series offers something for all kinds of readers whether they are directly involved in the performing arts or not. They are short, fast-paced and well executed—stories perfect for fans of performing arts-focused television shows such as Glee."

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