Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Capybara Conspiracy: A Novel in Three Acts by Erica S. Perl

Non-athletes, unite!   Calling all creative types!  Coding cadets!  Math maniacs!  Musicians!  The principal can’t stop talking about the victories of Farley Middle School’s Capybara sports teams long enough to announce Olive’s prize for play-writing.  Not only that, the principal has kicked Olive’s drama club practices out of the auditorium so the Ultimate Frisbee team can play there!  That’s the final straw:  Olive and her best friend Reynaldo decide to stage (get it?) a revolution to draw attention to the plight of non-players.  And The Capybara Conspiracy swings into action . . . what is a capybara anyway? 

Erica S. Perl has written her novel in the form of a play (her words) with staging notes (no capybara required) and resources for pursuing drama and capybaras.  Like all of Perl’s works for youth and children, The Capybara Conspiracy comes from the mindset of . . . a kid.  The plot, the characters, and the dialogue have an authentic middle school feel, making the play a great vehicle for a classroom, club, or just summer fun in the neighborhood.  There is, as Perl explains in the notes, flexibility for characters to be played by boys or girls, actors to play multiple parts, and so on.  Kids can do a dramatic reading, a full-fledged stage production, or anything in between! 

For more silliness with a point, try Perl’s other youth novels and her picture books. Between Zelly and her grandpa, Ace, it's hard telling what might happen in When Life Gives You O.J. and Aces Wild (also available in ebook and downloadable audio formats).  These would all appeal to fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate.  Younger folks looking for laughs can find them in Ferocious Fluffity: A Mighty Bite-y Class Pet and Chicken Butt's Back!  The titles kind of speak for themselves . . .

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