Title: Drum Roll Please…it’s Stevie Louise!
Author: Tanya Hennessy
Publisher: Allen and Unwin/Albert Street Books
Published: 4th May 2021
Synopsis: A delightfully funny and deeply relatable junior fiction story from one of Australia’s most loved multi-media stars.
Meet Stevie Louise. She is an entrepreneur (that’s like a business person), an entertainer (obviously), and an extrovert on the inside (wait, is this a thing?).
Stevie has a BRILLIANT PLAN. She’s going to have fun, make money, and most importantly, make sure the Brooke Street kids stay best friends forever.
Then a new neighbour arrives and threatens to derail all Stevie’s plans. And then real disaster strikes. But the show must go on. After all, Stevie is a professional.
A gloriously warm, funny and relatable story from much-loved comedian, writer, radio announcer and social media sensation Tanya Hennessy.
Stevie Louise is the oldest of three children and has a great gang of friends in Brooke Street. They do everything together. Stevie and some of her friends are in their final year of primary school, and Stevie has a great way for them to keep in contact – start a performance group! They already perform for their families so why not make it bigger?
Stevie’s mother refuses to call her Stevie – constantly calling her Steven, wearing muu-muus, offering up strange offerings and combinations for breakfast, and has a habit of embarrassing Stevie.
All seems to be going well – and everything is in place – the storyline, the jobs that everyone does, and the location for their first performance. And then, just as they’re getting everything finalised, a new neighbour – Addison – and her family move in, and Stevie’s mother makes Stevie invite Addison into the group and tells her she has to include her – poor Stevie, who is shy at times, is mortified. She’s not sure what to make of it, and whilst her other friends – the twins, Macey and Luke, her sister, Hannah, wheelchair athlete, Trixie and drama extraordinaire Alex, all seem to adore Addison and encourage Stevie to step back and take on a new role in the play.
But will this forge a new friendship between Stevie and Addison? Or will the Brooke Street kids fail their performance?
This new story from comedian Tanya Hennessey is filled with humour and popular culture references, friendship and diversity – people, ability, interests – many aspects that make us who we are individually and that create the best friendship groups. It celebrates sport, drama, comedy, writing, family – everything that makes us who we are, and celebrates the things that make us unique in society. This is the kind of book that all readers can enjoy from ages eight and older, where there is something in each character that we can see within ourselves. We all have moments of uncertainty like Stevie, and we all find ways of coping with them.
Stevie learns to be confident in this book – there are some things she can do without question, yet there are others that terrify her – and she must find a way to learn how to cope with her fears, and changes in her life – and build a new friendship with Addison, celebrating the beauty of friendship in childhood and the creation of friends that will stick with you through anything that you are going through.
I loved this book, and laughed so many times – it is touching, funny and light-hearted, and I hope people love it.