Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece by Patricia Polacco. August 2014.
From Amazon: "Speaking in front of an audience terrifies Trisha. Ending up in Mr. Wayne’s drama class is the last thing she wants! But Mr. Wayne gives her a backstage role painting scenery for the winter play. As she paints, she listens to the cast rehearse, memorizing their lines without even realizing it. Then, days before opening night, the lead actress suddenly moves away, and Trisha is the only other person who knows her part. Will the play have to be canceled? It won’t be an easy road—when Trisha tries to recite the lines in front of the cast, nothing comes out! But Mr. Wayne won’t let her give up, and with his coaching, Trisha is able to become one of his true masterpieces."
My thoughts: Patricia Polacco is a Michigan author who has written over 50 children's books. This most recent one is based on the true story of how she conquered her fear of public speaking, and celebrates the lasting impact of a great teacher. "He taught me to speak from the heart and to believe in myself. But most of all he taught me that all of us are masterpieces if given the chance and encouragement - to be one."
Age: Elementary and up (very long, I don't even think my 4-year-old would sit through it or understand it all)