Dara Palmer’s Major Drama

“Dara Palmer’s Major Drama” by Emma Sheva is a super cute and funny read that also tackles some important topics like adoption and discrimination. We were lucky enough to get our hands on an advance review copy of the book, and we’re so excited it’s finally out so we can tell you all about it!
Dara Palmer's Major Drama
It’s Dara Palmer’s DREAM to become a famous actress. She wants a big house, a fancy car, amazing clothes, and a really cute, equally famous boy on her arm. She wants to star in films and live an overall dazzling and glamorous life. She even wears tons of tutus and sparkles. Acting and fame basically consume her entire life and all of her thoughts all day long. So when Dara doesn’t get cast in the leading role (or ANY role for that matter!) of Maria in her school’s performance of The Sound of Music, she begins to freak out a bit. After all, Dara and her BFF Lacey practice their faces every day at recess – how could they possibly NOT get cast?!
Dara Palmer's Major Drama
At first Dara is convinced that it’s the color of her skin or the look of her face. Being adopted from Cambodia, Dara doesn’t quite look like everyone else at her school, and she definitely doesn’t have the face of Maria from the Sound of Music. She even gets picked on by a kid at school who’s constantly dumping noodles on her head and calling her names. After much pouting and even sending her parents to talk to the drama teacher, Miss Snarling, Dara realizes that she’s not being discriminated against at all. In fact, Miss Snarling believes that Dara has potential if she’d just take her acting more seriously and attend some after school acting workshops. At first she’s a bit offended, but Dara eventually realizes that maybe she SHOULD attend the acting classes, because there might just be more to acting than just making faces.

Drama class teaches Dara that being a great actress (and a great person) is all about learning how to put herself in someone else’s shoes. Seeing things from a new perspective, Dara becomes a better sister to Georgia (her sister who is adopted from Russia, that she doesn’t get along with at all) and to her friend Vanna (who is adopted from the same orphanage as Dara.) When Vanna visits Cambodia to find out more about her heritage, Dara learns more about herself as well and is inspired to teach the school and the world the importance of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and that Cambodians deserve the spotlight just as much as anyone else!

 Dara Palmer's Major Drama

Dara can come off a bit bratty at times, but her dramatic personality is so over the top it’s usually just flat out hilarious. All in all the book is funny, sweet, and definitely worth a read for any kid who aspires to act or anyone who feels like they’re at a disadvantage because they’re adopted or they look different than their classmates. It’s also filled with awesome doodles!
The author does a really great job of handling adoption and expressing all the ways it can be totally confusing and make things a little hard – Dara sometimes didn’t understand why her parents loved her unconditionally because she’s not their daughter by blood or felt like she was betraying her family by showing an interest in her Cambodian heritage. It’s definitely not an easy thing to deal with, especially finding out that your life before your current life wasn’t so great.

All in all, “Dara Palmer’s Major Drama” is a teaspoonful of cute, and we think you guys will love it! Click here for even more awesome book recommendations!

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