Fall 2022

Starlet Rivals

From the Series The Bollywood Academy

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 7
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

Twelve-year-old Bela has always dreamed about becoming a famous Bollywood star, and now the opportunity might finally be within her grasp.

When a reality TV show gives her the chance to dance in front of the nation, she knows that she is performing for a place at the most prestigious stage school in Mumbai.

Can Bela win the Dance Starz competition to score a place at the Bollywood Academy and move one step closer to her dreams of stardom? And will child star Monica, the most “in” girl at school, see her as a friend or a rival?

Praise for Starlet Rivals

“Bela dreams of Bollywood stardom – but can a girl from her less than privileged background have a chance of winning the national Dance Starz competition, and a place at a prestigious Mumbai stage school? A deliciously readable addition to the stage-school story canon for song-and-dance fans of 7+.”—The Guardian, Children’s Book of the Month

“What follows is everything readers could want – dream come true film opportunities, stays in the most glamorous locations, new friendships and the tiniest hint of romance. Young readers who love Ballet Shoes or The Swish of the Curtain, or who dream of stage stardom, or those who just love stories with great characters in exciting situations, they’ll all devour this new series. Applause all round!”—LoveReading4Kids

“Not only is the book bursting with glamour and excitement, it also has thoughtful messages about the perils of the limelight and the importance of doing the right thing. A delightful page-turner.”—Book Trust

“Boarding school, betrayal and Bollywood glamour – this book has it all. The first in Puneet Bhandal’s brand new series is a riveting, rapturous read that’s every bit as captivating as a show-stopping Bollywood dance. I would love to see it screened either as a movie or a Netflix series.”—Paperback Snob

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 7
Reading Level Grade 5
Category Diverse Books: #OwnVoices, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diverse Books: Social Class, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2022
Publisher Lantana Publishing
Imprint Lantana Publishing
Language English
Number of Pages 264
Publication Date 2022-09-13
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV031020, JUV030020, JUV006000
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5 x 7.75
Lexile 760
Guided Reading Level W
Features Author/Illustrator biography and Reviewed


School Library Journal

“Fans of dance and show business will enjoy this look into Bollywood and cheer for Bela as she starts to finds her way in this new world.”—School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“[T]his series opener sets the stage for more glamorous adventures.”—Kirkus Reviews

Author: Puneet Bhandal

Puneet Bhandal is a former Bollywood film journalist and current owner of an Indian occasionwear boutique where her dresses are modeled by real-life stars including 'Miss England 2021'. Melody Queen is the second book in her debut series, inspired by her love of Bollywood.

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