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A Play's the Thing    by Aliki order for
Play's the Thing
by Aliki
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

A Play's the Thing is a story in graphic novel (cartoon) format. It portrays a creative teacher and her students, including the class bully - disgruntled, mean Josť. When Miss Brilliant plans a new play, he refuses to participate until she decides that 'Josť will be the teacher.'

The class is soon buzzing with creative energy - except for Josť who's, as usual, all destructive impulses. But then they perform the play for their families, 'Everyone is proud', Cameron's role as bully makes Josť think, and their teacher comes up with another spectacular idea. Aliki does a great job of bringing out the individual personalities of Miss Brilliant's thirteen students, who will remind kids of those in their own classes.

Just as in Hamlet, the play's the thing this time around to make people think, and to trigger change. Kids will enjoy comparing these young students to their own classmates - and it might make them think too.

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