Wednesday, the 7th of April, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

Today my pick like last time, is another young person’s title–Maddy Again by Pamela Brown. This is the fifth of the Blue Door series by the author. The Blue Door series follows seven children between the ages of nine and seventeen–three pairs of siblings–Lyn, Jeremy, Sandra, Nigel, Bulldog, Vicky, and Maddy. They have different talents and set up the Blue Door Theatre company in their town. Their parents are sceptical of their talents and want them to take up more conventional lines of work. The first book follows their adventures getting started with the theatre company, the second the adventures of Maddy (left at home when the rest go to drama school), the third their experiences working in a theatre, and the fourth, them reviving the Blue Doors as a repertory company on their own. I read these books via NetGalley a couple of years ago but didn’t read the last.

Now I happened to get copies of the whole series including this, the final book in the series which is now on my TBR. This one sees somewhat the reverse of the situation we had in Maddy Again, with Maddy in the Actor’s Guild in London on her own while the others are working in the Blue Door Theatre (I think they don’t make an appearance at all, or only just). Maddy has a new roommate, a new chaperone, and also a new teacher, Mr Manyweather who introduces the students to television. Is Maddy going to survive her first taste of failure or will she embark on her greatest acting adventure?

I really enjoyed the first four books in the series which were recommended to me by a friend. I was thrilled to see they were being republished–these were originally published in the 1940s and 1950s, and jumped as I saw them on NetGalley. The children’s experiences with acting and working at the theatre are not sugarcoated or magical–they have to face real problems (including being cheated of all their earnings), struggle to keep things running, and put in a lot of hard work. This was the aspect I enjoyed most about the books. I was also in awe of the fact that the first book was written by Brown when she was only 14 or 15. I have read that this last book (which written much after the first four) seems a bit disconnected from the others but I’d still like to pick it up since Maddy was such a fun character.

Have you read this one or any of the others in the series? Which one/s and how did you find them? Looking forward to your thoughts!

Cover image and description from Goodreads as always.

Find Lisa’s pick this week, Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon here, a historical love story set on the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s.

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