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THE UPSIDE OF ORDINARY

Author: Susan Lubner

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Holiday House, ©2012

Material: hard cover

Summary: Jermaine is just what a parent wants in an 11-year-old: a girl focused on a goal. She's going to be famous, just like Rufus Carhmichael. Mom is supportive of Jermaine's goal to create a reality show based on her family. Her sister Zelda, not so much. Her family gets agitated by her filming their every move day and night. Jermaine soon realizes her family life is not that interesting, so she begins to stage events to make her movie interesting. In her effort to capture every moment, Jermaine learns some valuable lessons - not just about being behind the camera, but about responsibility, relationships, and integrity. Family dynamics and a child's desire for stardom take center stage in this middle grade chapter book.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 9and up; read yourself: 10 and Up

Interest Level: 9 and Up

Reading Level: 4.1

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: The book is written for young readers with dreams. The book identifies some very valuable lessons about our dreams to become what we see on television, as well as what happens when you let attention change your view of life, family, and friends.

This is a very exciting book that is funny, witty, and serious. It will keep the reader interested at all times. I would highly recommend this book to the young reader in pre-teens as a funny, serious, adventurous, and educational. The book has a good plot, life lesson, and great ending.

The author has created a book that allows the young reader to put themselves in the book as the main character and feel the vision based upon how the author has written the book. I enjoyed this book very much and found it very exciting.

Adult Reader Reaction: Great story, well told! Parents and kids alike will relate to the desire for fame and the pervasiveness (if not fixation on) reality television. The family dynamics are universal, even though the specific events may not be.

Pros: This is a wholesome read that kids and parents will enjoy. This also has great potential as a high interest / low readability book.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. If you have two children (even boys) then you'll want to buy because you'll want them both to read it.

If You Liked This Book, Try: The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons, Twelve Kinds of Ice, Don’t Feed the Boy, Stealing Air THE SISTERS CLUB: RULE OF THREE   DRAGONFLY   FANTASTIC FEMALE FILMMAKERS (The Women's Hall of Fame Series)

Educational Themes: This is a story for fun reading, but would be perfect for a pre/teen book club. There are themes of respect, privacy, secrets, and celebrity, too.

Notes: The author donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - family, humor, realistic fiction

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2013, February 2013

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.




                 

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