Replay by Sharon Creech
Leo is a daydreamer who gets lost in his big, loud family. His big chance to be noticed at the school play is dashed when Mr. Beeber gives Leo an unexpected role. But by delving deeper into his new part, Leo begins to understand his family a little better… and happens across an old family secret.
It is not a good idea to call yourself a sardine in a family like Leo’s, who will not let you forget it.
Replay is a contemporary story about a boy who’s a little off-beat. Sprinkled throughout the book are little asides where we get to see what Leo is imagining. Scenarios where things go the way he wishes they could, or his imagination going off on a rabbit trail. They reminded me a lot of my own active imagination, and provided an earnest, hopeful note to the story through some of the more melancholy sections.
I absolutely loved the writing. Replay was simple enough for a young reader to pick up and comprehend, but had many deep and beautiful thoughts that weren’t necessarily answered. I think it’s important for books to be thought-provoking, and Replay is a prime example of a story that does this well.
I would highly recommend Replay to aspiring writers or those interested by the glittery world of performing arts. There are some lovely takeaways, including a script to the play Leo’s theater group performed at the back of the book.