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Maya Plays the Part

Interest Age: 8–12
Grade: 3–6
Hardcover : 9781773218502, 224 pages, March 2024 , 8.0" x 5.5"
Paperback : 9781773218519, 224 pages, March 2024 , 8.0" x 5.5"


A heartwarming middle-grade debut with autism representation and a musical flair.

Maya lives and breathes musicals. When her chance to finally be a part of the summer musical program at the community theater comes up, Maya is convinced she will get the lead. After all, who knows The Drowsy Chaperone better than she does? However, things don’t turn out exactly the way Maya’s planned, and the summer turns out to be jam-packed with problems: dealing with her best friend’s move, her parents’ busy jobs, and—since her autism diagnosis—the ongoing puzzle of how to be Maya in Public. But perhaps most important of all, Maya has to figure out how to play the part that truly feels like her own.


“Utilizing an empathetic narrator who’s easy to root for, debut author Erb, who is also autistic, crafts a personal and vulnerable story about one neurodivergent child’s experience in discovering how to be herself as she learns to set boundaries and communicate with others.”

- Publishers Weekly, *starred review, 12/14/23

 “A relatable middle grade read with authentic autism representation and important lessons for readers everywhere.”

- School Library Journal, 02/24