Aspiring young actress Penny dreads the thought of living with proper Aunt Phyllis in San Francisco while her parents are off on scientific research in Hawaii. It’s the late 1800s, and Phyllis and her uppity daughters will be aghast at the thought of a young woman treading the boards. Sure enough, life with the stuffy relatives seems to go from bad to worse every day, and things hit a new low when Phyllis forbids Penny to accept the lead part in her school play, Romeo and Juliet. Penny forges ahead anyway, provoking a major confrontation with the auntie. There are a few contrivances here, but many readers will connect with Penny’s plucky determination and enjoy the glimpse of San Francisco manners and mores at the turn of the last century.
Penelope Bailey Takes the Stage is a nominee for the Teens Top 10. To request it from the library, click here. If it’s your favorite, don’t forget to place your vote during Teen Read Week, October 14-20, 2007.
Review by Ann @ American Library Association, Printed in Booklist