This author has an ear and an eye for middle-grade drama (as well as an amazing name!), and I loved the ambiguous title which related both to a musical play the school is putting on, and also to the lives of those involved in the play in one way or another. The production is "Moon Over Mississippi." I've never heard of it, and have no idea if it's a real play or not. I have no interest in sharing the obsession far too many people have with the civil war in this country. What the play was, was irrelevant to the story, but as it was, it was set in the civil war and was of course a story about love.
Callie is the girl and set designing is her game and she ends up with a triumph on her hands as one thing after another seemed to be set on derailing the production, but solutions were always at hand, even if some of them were thoroughly unexpected and entirely unpredictable. It would have been nice if the lesson Callie learned was that she did not need a man to validate her, but that was a relatively minor part of the story compared with the fact that - in everything except boys - she was a self-starter, and a smart, independent young woman who got things done.
In fact, the disconnect between her can-do success with the play and her cluelessness with boys was rather amusing, and the idea that the boy she wanted kind of fell into her lap at the end was like a cherry on top. I know others didn't like it, but I thought it was funny.
This was an early example of the author's work - her second book of four as of this writing. I've never read anything by her before and it's good to know that she goes on to hopefully ever better and greater things that I still have to look forward to! The artwork was gorgeous and the color supplied by Gurihiru (a Japanese team of which I assume Kawano was the colorist) was wonderful.