This first friendship book in the "Chosen Girls" series by Cheryl Crouch is published by Zonderkidz.
Backstage Pass is written for kids ages 9 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Melody "Mello" McMann and her friend Harmony have been a duo for years, so Mello doesn't know what to think of Harmony's new friend, Trinity. Harmony and Trinity, who are both guitar players, convince Mello to overcome her inhibitions and play drums for their band. With the help of their neighbor Lamont, the girls create an award-winning music video. In the process, they overcome jealousy and other relational obstacles and discover that God is the power source behind their music and their friendship.
All three girls are Christians and attend church, and Trinity's influence (and eventual suggestions that they pray together) seems to strengthen the other two in their faith. They pray together and discuss how God inspires their band name, Chosen Girls. Trinity has a favorite Scripture she calls her life verse. She selected John 15:16, and she helps Mello find one of her own (1 Peter 5:10). Mello's life verse becomes the catalyst for the lyrics of their contest-winning song. The girls rule out a number of clothing items that aren't modest enough for costumes.
As mayor, Mello's dad makes various appearances and jokes with audiences. He and Mello's mom comfort her when they all think Harmony is ill, and the parents express their pride in Mello when Chosen Girls wins the video contest. Lottie, the kind and slightly eccentric owner of the girls' favorite coffee shop, encourages the band in its efforts.
Other Belief Systems
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- Why was it so difficult for Mello to play the drums in front of other people?
- How would her brother have felt if he could have seen her on the video?
- Have you ever felt jealous because one of your close friends became a good friend of someone else?
What did you do?
- What are some good things about having a couple of close friends rather than just one best friend?
- Do you know anyone like Makayla, who enjoys making others feel bad?
Why do you think some people act that way?
Why would anyone choose to be a "follower" of someone who is so cruel to others?
- Chosen Girls made better music and built stronger friendships when they started praying together.
Do you have any friends you could pray with?
Or can you think of some things you'd like to pray about on your own (or with me)?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.