Box-Office Smash (The Opportunity)

Box-Office Smash (The Opportunity)

By: D. M. Paige
Publisher: Darby Creek Publishing
Publication Date: August 2013
ISBN: 978-1467713719
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: December 2013

Jason’s Claymation figures went fling to the floor when Trig Anderson just happened to accidentally hit them. His project was trashed, but when Anderson sneered “Did I break your dollies,” Jason felt like trashing him. Fortunately Vice Principal Masters stepped in to break up what could have been a decent fight. Instead Jason ended up heading to the guidance counselors’ office for a little visit with Mrs. Hamilton. Instead of the usual dressing down he expected, he was handed an envelope that could change the course of his life ... if he wanted it to. Harmon Holt had extended an invitation for Jason to work in his internship program in L.A., as in the movies.

There wasn’t any mom to discuss this big opportunity with and Stella was usually busy with the other kids. Maybe too busy to care, or he thought. He was going to have to discuss it with Nina, his “child services social worker.” Jason was seventeen, but still had to get permission for something this big. Nina really did care and on one level had been traveling with him from one home to another. Being a ward of the state didn’t have many advantages, but this could be the break he needed. “Give yourself permission to be great,” Nina told Jason. He wondered if that would even be possible.

Jason had made his own films for YouTube, but when he saw a “top of the line HD camera,” he thought he could do something decent with it. What wasn’t decent was the job he was assigned to at the studio. He was planning on learning about filmmaking from Brent Tollin himself. Instead, he was practically handed an apron by Sam, the head PA. The closest he might get to that film was checking out Becca Cody, a big star, when she picked up her licorice. Later, Jason thought to himself, “I felt like I was being punished for something.” Was he or was he just not willing to cut the mustard and be a team player?

This is the tale of Jason, a kid who had big dreams, talent, and nowhere to go but L.A. Reluctant readers will enjoy reading the short story about how opportunity knocks. The tale is an open-ended one, leaving Jason’s lifelong fate up to the imagination. The message of “The Opportunity” series lets young people know that no matter what the circumstances in their lives, opportunity can come knocking. What they choose to do with it and if they want it to open up doors belongs to them and them alone. The characters are not fleshed out, but I certainly got a feel for Jason’s life and dreams for the future.

Quill says: If you have a youngster who'd love to succeed, the Opportunity series, is one you may wish to take a look at!

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