The Roof Over Our Heads

Abrams/Amulet. Jan. 2023. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781419754562.
Gr 8 Up–Finn’s family is made up of theatre lovers. When their historical home is on the verge of being sold, Finn’s family and friends present an immersive Victorian murder mystery theatre experience to raise funds for the house. Memorizing lines, dealing with a new crush, and avoiding his former friend, Jade, are making Finn’s efforts to prove his theatrical worth in the immersive play difficult. As Finn’s desperation grows, multiple disasters strike, threatening to crumble everything his family has worked for. Kronzer’s sophomore novel combines a riveting theatre experience with a dash of heart, creating an amusing read. Like theatregoers, readers may need to suspend disbelief as the short “tech week” time frame has characters learning blocking, Victorian manners, and script revisions in a nearly too-good-to-be-true manner. However, leaning into the fun of it all makes for an almost comedy of errors as Finn and his family work together. The larger cast leads to less page time for several strong secondary characters, which may disappoint some readers. Lovable Finn struggles with belonging, driving the serious side of the story forward, as he explores his connections with the others. Overall, the bigger picture of recognizing and loving your strengths is effectively delivered as Finn learns to completely open up to his moms and brothers. Finn is white. Jade is Black. Author’s note includes sources.
VERDICT A theatrical spectacle that will entertain stage and historical home fans alike.

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