Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
Sixteen-year-old drummer Stella, guitarist Jacob and bassist Miles need a wild singer for their old-school rock band. When they discover nerdy Tamara Donnelly, who nails the national anthem at a baseball game, Stella is not convinced Tamara’s sound is right for the band. Stella wants to turn Tamara into a rock goddess, but Tamara proves to be a confident performer who has her own ideas about music and what it means to be epic cool.
When their band, the Frail Days, starts to build a local following, Stella and Tamara clash over the direction the band should take, forcing them to consider what true musical collaboration means.
About the author
Gabrielle Prendergast is a UK-born Canadian/Australian who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband and daughter. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Gabrielle is the author of the verse novels Capricious and Audacious, which was shortlisted for a CLA Award, and The Frail Days in the Orca Limelights and the middle-grade novel Pandas on the Eastside. For More information, visit www.angelhorn.com.
"While the themes are serious, the lively first person narrative by the iconoclastic Stella (piercings, fire-engine red hair, different fake tattoos every week) makes this a dynamic and funny novel."
"A timely read for kids looking at chasing dreams of their own."
Stephanie Q., LibraryThing Early Reviewer
"An inspirational story...[that] tackles more than perseverance and ambition...[including] female competition, body image, and the pressure of gender expectations for young girls in society...The [Orca Limelights] stories are quick, bite-sized reads, but they pack a punch—the well-developed stories have relatable characters and entertaining plots. This book will appeal to a diverse audience of young female readers."
"Prendergast displays excellent insight into what makes young artists tick in this short novella. Characterization is deftly done: Stella has an attractively rebellious edge to her personality, and Tamara's character grows naturally in confidence. Punchy, insightful and great for music lovers."
"The dialogue is authentic, and the vocabulary is varied, interesting and appropriate for the intended audience. Characters are realistic, and the plot is believable. The theme of performing and finding a voice is well explored in this novel...The Frail Days would appeal to a variety of readers, including readers of music, relationships and realistic fiction...Highly Recommended."
"A pleasing choice for high/low readers with an interest in the music biz."