A 12-year-old boy just won’t be able to hold his head up in his middle school if his friends find out he’s a professional model.
Luke can’t stand it when his mom and his aunt call him “Beauty Boy.” He’s been a successful model since he was literally a baby. Now though, Luke just wants to quit modeling and play hockey like any other red-blooded Canadian boy. His secret identity has made him an adept liar, but when his overbearing agent aunt lands him an important contract, he finds justifying the missing school days a challenge. He invents a disease, prompting the sympathetic vice principal to organize a charity drive in the school, including a hockey game between the students and teachers. His lie compounds, and he still has to cope with existing modeling gigs and juggle friends, enemies and family. If Luke quits his lucrative career, how will the family pay its bills? Finally, Luke’s choices lead to a resolution of the situation. Behind the comedy, Hughes presents a convincing picture of a boy just beginning to assert his own individuality, making choices he knows are risky. Luke’s first-person patter will hook readers, as will details of Luke’s modeling assignments. If the resolution seems a bit easy, the entertainment value stays high.
Plenty of fun, and substance too. (Fiction. 9-12)