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Better Nate Than Ever meets The Parker Inheritance in this heartwarming mystery about finding your people and accepting others as they are.
Twelve-year-old Maren is sure theater camp isn’t for her. Theater camp is for loud, confident, artsy people: people like her older sister, Hadley—the last person Maren wants to think about—and her cinema-obsessed, nonbinary bunkmate, Theo. But when a prank goes wrong, Maren gets drawn into the hunt for a diamond ring that, legend has it, is linked to the camp’s namesake, Charlotte “Charlie” Goodman, a promising director in Blacklist Era Hollywood.
When Maren connects the clues to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, she and her new friends are off searching through lighting booths, orchestra pits and costume storages, discovering the trail and dodging camp counselors. But they’re not the only ones searching for the ring, and with the growing threat of camp closing forever, they're almost out of time.
About the Author
When Janet Key was twelve, she sang and danced onstage, stayed up too late reading Shakespeare, and had a closet full of themed, handsewn vests. This is her first novel.l.
*"Key weaves an intriguing mystery together with a sensitive exploration of gender identity, mental health, and family relationships in the historical and present-day settings."—BCCB, starred review
"Debut author Key constructs a well-paced treasure hunt, as much a mystery as a love letter to theater and its history... A layered, unexpectedly poignant mystery with over-the-top characters."—Kirkus Reviews
"Film and theater lovers will particularly delight in frequent references and lore, but the sensational summer-camp mystery will easily appeal to all."—Booklist
"Deftly comparing past and present, the novel explores themes of gender identity and sexual orientation during Hollywood’s “Lavender Scare” and today."—Publishers Weekly
"Key does a good job of bringing in such topics as the 1940s Hearings Against Accused Communists in Hollywood and related “Lavender Scare” without letting history overwhelm the storytelling...and of allowing the book’s themes of gender and sexuality to develop organically."—The Horn Book