Olivia Flies High by Lyn Gardner
Olivia is waiting impatiently to tell her best friends the good news about the highwire act - it's been picked to perform in New York for a night! But her friends have news of their own - Olivia loses herself in learning the trapeze, while Tom begins his West End stage career in The Sound of Music. But weird things keep happening, and soon Tom is on the verge of losing everything he's ever wanted. It wouldn't have anything to do with the return of Katie Wilkes-Cox, would it? In a nail-biting finale, Olivia performs not one but two daring rescues before tragedy strikes - As for Katie, could it be So Long, Farewell - for ever -
This is the second book in the series by Lyn Gardner about Olivia Marvell and her time at her grandmother's stage school, The Swan Academy of Theatre and Dance. I reviewed the first book, Olivia's First Term, earlier this year and enjoyed it thoroughly.
This book starts the term after the end of book one, and the students are auditioning for The Sound of Music. Tom and Georgia are both chosen to be two of the children, however Olivia is upset as 'Romeo and Juliet on the Highwire' has been asked to perform at a special charity show on Broadway, New York. However, when Olivia finds that Tom will be unable to attend Broadway because the two clash, she is disappointed when Tom chooses The Sound of Music. Olivia is very upset and says things in the heat of the moment which she later regrets. When she tries to apologise she is blanked by Tom - could the reappearance of Katie Wilkes-Cox, the girl who was expelled following her attempts to get Olivia expelled last term, be anything to do with this? There are also parts of the story where Olivia's past experience of circus skills come in handy with daredevil rescues. The story is based around the Sound of Music performance and Olivia and Tom's friendship dispute, however there is also news of Olivia's father attempt to walk the tightrope over a vast expanse in Idaho.
This book is just as good as the first one of the series. There are many of the characters from book one who are also in book 2. Olivia's younger sister, Eel, is a big part of this second book, stepping in at the last minute and fulfilling her dream.
As I previously said, I really enjoyed this book but can not imagine the Italia Conti or Sylvia Young schools having tightrope walking and trapeze classes on their daily class list.
This story is perfect for children aged 9+ to read alone and would be perfect for children who dream about life on the stage.
I am already looking forward to the third book in the series, Olivia and the Movie Stars.