Sharon Draper’s latest book, Panic, introduces us to dance students from Crystal Pointe Dance Academy. Miss Ginger, the owner and dance instructor, has just cast some of her gifted and talented students in roles for the company’s production of Peter Pan. These students are not strangers to performance. As a matter of fact, the students are a few hours from presenting their Spring Showcase they have been practicing for the past two months.
Last minute preparations take best friends, Mercedes and Diamond to the Mall. They both need new tights to dance in. Mercedes ‘quick’ stop in the dance store is anything but quick. Her eye catches some of the gorgeous leotards and other spectacular costumes that she simply must try on. Diamond is not only hungry but ready to leave. They were just going to get the tights, head to the pizza shop in the mall food court and get back to the studio.
Diamond leaves Mercedes and heads to the food court. She nearly crashes into a gentleman who asked for directions to the food court. The man introduced himself as Thane. He was looking for his daughter, Chloe, who attends the same high school as Diamond. He wanted to know if she knew her. Diamond struck up a conversation with Thane. It turns out that he was in a rush because Chloe had a casting call for a role in the movie version of Peter Pan. This information caught Diamond’s attention. In her dance studio production, she was cast as Smee the Pirate. The role of Wendy went to Layla Ridgewood. Layla always gets the good roles. As Thane talked on and on about Chloe’s extensive movie credits and big name movies, Diamond thought maybe this was her chance to show everyone how talented she really is!
Thane made his move. He answered his phone with Chloe on the other end, already at home waiting for him to drive her to audition. Why not go to the audition for the movie version rather than spring showcase to be held at 7:30 p.m. in her school auditorium? Diamond makes a choice. Diamond text’s Mercedes because her phone is almost out of juice. She leaves the mall with Thane.
Every chapter in this book begins with a quote from Peter Pan. The quote for chapter 3—“All are keeping a sharp look-out in front, but none suspects that the danger may be creeping up from behind.”
Read Panic by Sharon Draper.
Review by Andrea, CLP-Homewood