Big Time.jpg

Sometimes you have to fail before you can succeed.

Gerri waits outside all night to audition for Big Time, her favorite TV singing competition. She believes she has a shot at success, but when she’s insulted by one of the judges and kicked out of the competition, she thinks she’ll probably never sing again. After a teacher at her school asks her to join a choral club, Gerri reluctantly gets involved. Even though she can’t read music and she doesn’t know the other kids, she finds herself enjoying the group and learning a lot about music. A cute guy she met at the Big Time auditions joins the group, and when they perform their unique mashups at an open-mic night, Gerri realizes there’s more than one way to be a successful—and happy—singer!

BIG TIME was released in March 2014

Awards and Distinctions

2014 Junior Library Guild Selection

CCBC Best Books 2014

Translation rights sold to Germany, Sweden, Norway and Finland


CM Magazine – January 17, 2014

“A feel-good story that is all about a love of music and following one’s dreams.”

Publishers Weekly – January 17, 2014

“Readers will want to ride along for the high hopes and disappointments, as well as the self-discovery that is part of Gerri’s journey to embrace and polish her talent.”

Resource Links – February 1, 2014

“A believable and instructive story about art and life.”

Booklist – March 1, 2014

This entry in the standout Limelights series catches you off guard from the start. Ryan keeps things speedy enough for reluctant readers while never shortchanging characters on their shades of gray. Here, hard work gets its due over instant celebrity—and that’s not a bad message at all. Grades 5-8. –Daniel Kraus