Olivia's First Term is the first book in a new series from Theatre Critic Lyn Gardner.
The book is focused around the lives of twelve year old Olivia Marvell and her seven year old sister Eel. Having been used to a life of traveling around Europe with their father's famous circus, Olivia and Eel are shocked when they're taken to their grandmother's stage school `The Swan Academy of Theatre and Dance' in London whilst their father recuperates from an accident and plans a career comeback.
After a dramatic introduction, Eel takes instantly to life at The Swan and relishes in the constant round of dancing and theatre activities. For Olivia, however, the upheaval is not so easy and she finds herself desperately worrying about her father and unable to fit in at The Swan. All Olivia really wants to do is walk the highwire, but she is sure that her grandmother, who loathes the circus, will disapprove.
Things take a turn for the worse when valuable objects begin to go missing and Olivia must use her circus skills to try and catch the real thief.
The book is filled with all of the ingredients for a really exciting tale of school life with a difference. There is the nasty bully, Katie Wilkes-Cox, who seems to get away with everything, a model student; Georgia Jones whose mother is working all hours to pay the fees and an array of other characters that readers will be able to relate to.
Exciting and with lots of twists and turns, Olivia's First Term is a gripping story which I found difficult to put down. I am really looking forward to reading the next books in the series.
Lyn Gardner has created a tale of a modern day stage school, which I think could rival many classic children's stories.