Playing Juliet by JoAnne Stewart WetzelPlaying Juliet by JoAnne Stewart Wetzel

Playing Juliet

byJoAnne Stewart Wetzel

Hardcover | November 3, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info

$22.24 online 
$24.99 list price save 11%
Earn 111 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Beth Sondquist, age twelve and a half, dreams of playing the part of Juliet. For now she’s just the cat in Cinderella, but one day, she’s determined to become a real actress. But all her hopes for an acting career come crashing down when the Oakfield Children’s Theater is slated to be closed. Its new owner has decided to make it into an adult theater, a real theater. Beth and her best friend, Zandy, are willing to do whatever it takes to save the theater, but their plans quickly go awry. When Beth’s father catches her sneaking back into her bedroom window well past bedtime, Beth is in big, big trouble.

With eviction looming, the children’s theater director decides to close the theater with the same play the theater opened with fifty years ago—Romeo and Juliet. But Beth’s grounded for the next two weeks, and she won’t be able to try out. How will Beth pull off playing Juliet if she can’t even make tryouts?

Playing Juliet is funny and honest and celebrates bravery and doing the right thing even when it gets you into trouble. It’s about having the courage to go after what you want and making your dreams come true. It’s also about friendship and family. As an almost-thirteen-year-old, Beth has a unique bond with thirteen-year-old Juliet, and she eventually recognizes just how silly and immature Juliet’s decisions are. Only Beth can play Juliet as the kid that she is. With a little bit of luck, maybe she’ll get her chance.

Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
JoAnne Stewart Wetzel is a self-proclaimed theater geek, and she recently completed a twenty-year quest to see at least one production of every play written by Shakespeare. She is also a published author of two previous books for children, including a nonfiction theater book, Onstage/Backstage (Carolrhoda). Her picture book, The Christ...
Title:Playing JulietFormat:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.25 × 5.75 × 0.75 inPublished:November 3, 2015Publisher:Sky Pony PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1634501837

ISBN - 13:9781634501835


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Playing Juliet I liked Beth very much, she makes mistakes but her heart is in the right place as the aspiring actress tries to save her local children’s theater. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-02

Editorial Reviews

"Gr 4-6–In this charming story featuring a relatable narrator and action-driven plot, Beth dreams of one day playing the female lead in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Trouble looms, however, when Beth’s beloved children’s theater threatens to close. While undoubtably appealing to any child looking to learn more about the theater in general, the book also offers a thorough immersion into the world of children’s theater. The emotional core of the story comes from Beth’s relationships with her best friend and her parents. The friendships portrayed are realistic and not overly dramatic. While Beth occasionally seems wise beyond her years, her concerns and fears feel real. Her superstitions surrounding the theater are relatable and provide an opportunity for Wetzel to discuss the history of theater. Additionally, family issues, such as Beth’s desire to please her parents and Beth’s friend’s experience of divorce and shared parenting, are portrayed authentically and will resonate with many readers. The epigraphs at the start of each chapter provide unique opportunities for foreshadowing. This feature both drives the plot forward and draws readers in. An explanation of the epigraphs at the book’s conclusion allows deeper understanding of these literary devices and enriches the text even further. VERDICT A solid story with surprising emotion, this novel is sure to appeal to theater lovers and neophytes alike."—School Library Journal"The novel effectively captures the cadence and essence of preteen-speak and the intense, hyperbolic feeling of life onstage, when flubbing a line or missing an entrance is as catastrophic as being grounded. . . . An earnest and creditable effort that will resonate with thespians both young and old."—Kirkus Reviews“Playing Juliet is cinematic, fast-paced, full of theater magic, misdirection, and Shakespeare. . . . I couldn't stop reading.” —Jane Yolen, award-winning author of Owl Moon and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?"Joanne Stewart Wetzel's middle-grade debut is a hit! Starry-eyed, yet hopelessly superstitious, Beth Sondquist dreams of someday playing Juliet. With the threat of her local children's theater closing, the part of a lifetime may happen sooner than she ever anticipated. Playing Juliet is a dazzling adventure in which readers are sure to find that 'parting is such sweet sorrow.'" —Kerry O'Malley Cerra, author of the Crystal Kite Award winner Just a Drop of Water“Bravo! A standing ovation for Playing Juliet, an adventure-filled story that offers a look backstage into the fascinating world of children’s theater and introduces a protagonist who will steal your heart as she chases after her dreams.” –Miriam Spitzer Franklin, author of Extraordinary