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Monday, 1 April 2013

Olivia and the Great Escape by Lyn Gardner

Olivia and the Great Escape 

 Jack Marvell's latest stunt is to stay up on a high-wire for thirty days and nights. Olivia is worried for her father, but very proud of him. But then the rumours start, claiming that Jack's cheating. Olivia must give her all to her role in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and also prove to the world that her father is no fraudster.
 This is the sixth book in the series of books by Lyn Gardner in which Olivia, along with her sister Alicia (Eel) attend their grandmother's school, The Swan Academy of Theatre and Dance. I have reviewed the previous five books on my blog and I have really enjoyed following Olivia and Eel's journey through the school, each gaining confidence in their performance skills.

In this book, their father, Jack Marvell is planning another huge test of his endurance and skills. He reminds me of David Blaine. However, someone appears to have decided to sabotage his spectacular as another artiste sets up just down the river. Olivia is getting older and continuing with her studies, supporting her father in his latest stunt while Eel decides she needs to know if she has the potential to become a prima ballerina, but when she gets the answer she has a difficult decision to make.
As with the whole series, Lyn Gardner has created a fantastic cast of characters within a school environment - think Enid Blyton's Malory Towers set in a stage school. The stories are believable with characters facing the same problems that teenagers up and down the country are facing as friendship groups are pulled apart when boys come on the scene.
This is a fantastic series for children aged 9+. It would appeal to girls and I think boys will also enjoy it if they have a interest in performing arts. The book is part of a series and although reading in order would enable readers to meet the characters and learn their histories, it is not necessary as each book could be read as a standalone story.
 The next installment of the series is due for release in July 2013 and I look forward to seeing what Olivia and her friends get up to next.
Thank you to the publishers, Nosy Crow, for sending me the book to review.

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