Challenge Participant


Sunday, 4 March 2012

Olivia and the Movie Star by Lyn Gardner

Olivia and the Movie Stars

The Swan Academy is under threat from closure due to a building development next door. Into this tense atmosphere come Cosmo and Cosima, the famous singing/acting twins from Hollywood. They are starring in Peter Pan and are learning to fly! A series of mysterious accidents in the theatre threaten to close the production, and Olivia's dad, who is flying consultant, gets the blame. Olivia uses her highwire skills to get hold of the development plans and a protest campaign is organised. But then another accident takes place - a rope has been cut through and the twins are nearly killed. Who is doing this - and why?

This is the third book in the series about Olivia, her sister Eel and her grandmother, Miss Swan who owns and runs The Swan Academy of Theatre and

I have enjoyed these books since the first book, Olivia's First Term, and the series is getting better and better with each book. Although it is a modern day story, the school still has the education at its heart - each student must complete academic studies before they can perform

As I have previously said about this book: The story is a modern day tale of a stage school but one with traditional values, where children must excel in both song, acting or dance alongside the traditional subjects of maths,English etc. There are many characters within the book, which children will be able to relate to; the popular girl, who has everything she wants, but finds money or blackmail can't buy friendship; the quiet and studious children who work to the best of their ability who the popular children prey upon; along with other individuals who all add to the school in their own way. However in this story the girl who thought that money could buy everything has a change of heart and realise who her real friends are and what she really cares about. As ever, the school pupils club together to become a force to be reckoned with. There are adventures a plenty to be had during this term and Olivia and Eel are not far away from the action. 

This book will appeal to girls who would love to go to stage school or like singing, dancing and theatre. However, I also think that readers will love it who are fans of school stories - modern day Mallory Towers with a twist.

Thank you to the author and publishers, Nosy Crow, for sending me the book to review.


  1. What kind of reading age would you say for this Sarah? I think Kari may like these she has a reading age of around 9-10 but is not quite 8 so it is tricky getting a book that challenges her reading without bbeing too grown up for her.

  2. Hi michelle - i would say these books would be great for Kari, they are't going to be too grown up at all - they are really good stories and have lots about friendship and following your dream (in a good way). i would recommend the first one - Olivia's first term to start with.