The Life Fantastic: A Novel in Three Acts

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Product Details

Price
$17.99
Publisher
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publish Date
Pages
256
Dimensions
5.5 X 8.6 X 1.1 inches | 0.01 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781440598760

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About the Author

Liza Ketchum grew up in a family that placed a high value on the arts, particularly storytelling, music, and dance. Her father, also a writer, loved to tell about Liza's great-grandmother, a singer and pianist who caused a scandal when she eloped with a musician at the height of vaudeville's popularity. That story, along with the vaudeville songs that her grandfather used to sing, inspired Liza to write The Life Fantastic. She is the author of sixteen published books of fiction and nonfiction for young readers, including the recently published Out of Left Field, set in contemporary Boston with echoes to the Vietnam War era. Her middle grade novel, Where the Great Hawk Flies, won the Massachusetts Book Award for Young Adults. Liza and her husband divide their time between the Boston area and southern Vermont.

Reviews

As seen in the Publishers Weekly African-American Titles for Young Readers feature
"Vaudeville in the early 1900s makes for a thought-provoking setting for a tale of racial discrimination with direct parallels to today's issues.... The plot and characters are strong enough to carry that theme.... Historical fiction, racial discrimination, a budding love story, and youthful characters make this a fine additional purchase for libraries." --School Library Journal

"Raised on the road with vaudevillian parents and gifted with a golden voice, young Teresa LeClair sets out to 'shoot for the stars--or die trying' in Ketchum's newest historical novel. A jam-packed ride through early-20th-century performance culture." --Kirkus Reviews
"The Life Fantastic provides a fascinating window into the 1900s New York vaudeville scene, while examining the complexities of family support and expectations, as well as burgeoning black activism ... .Ketchum fits it together seamlessly and entertainingly. Her love of vaudeville shines through Teresa and her descriptions of 1913 Broadway, but she does not ignore the built-in limitations placed on people of color."--VOYA Magazine
"Ketchum weaves a gripping story of racial discrimination in the performing arts ... .Ketchum paints a vivid portrait of the difficult life of a performer and the indignities and prejudice endured by artists of color ... .Lovers of theater and history will find a great deal to sink their teeth into."--Publishers Weekly
"Ketchum's new read stars a teen whose beautiful voice takes her out of her family home to the great New York City. Filled with young dreams and the realities of racial discrimination, it's a story that's as relevant today as ever."--Brit + Co
"Liza Ketchum creates a story as vibrant as the era itself ... perhaps the greatest strength of the story is the historical accuracy tangible in the novel. Ketchum manages to capture the unique flavor and tone of the era of Vaudeville --- the bond of shared dreams and challenges that connected performers as a family. a fun and quick read for younger teens."--Teenreads
"Provides much fodder for discussing race relations and the power of song."--Booklist
"This was a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the vaudeville circuit ... .I love a good historical read, and I can't advocate enough for these types of books that combine fiction and history in positive ways ... to be required reading in our schools. Factual history books are important, sure, but if you can find a realistic character to empathize with ... I think you're going to be a more well-rounded person for it. Ketchum brought the 1910s NYC to life, using real songs and places to bring an air of authenticity to the novel."--Forever Young Adult