Second-grader Jules Bloom returns for another audition (Starring Jules (as Herself), 2013)—this time for a television sitcom—with New York City–sized tension and hilarity.
Full of energy and charisma, Jules has been asked to audition for a TV show about a New York City family; she would be the youngest of three siblings. Ain gives this bubbly girl a distinctive voice (“I am having so many feelings inside my body that I feel like a pan of shake-over-the-stovetop popcorn”) that brims with questions and confidence. Jules skitters from problem to problem like a city cab, balancing her audition with another project: cheering up her new friend Elinor, who is from London. Things are busy at school, too: Her ex–best friend Charlotte continues to steal the limelight there, receiving the plum role in the end-of-the-year play. Soon, the juggling of school, friends and an acting career produces conflicts that even her creative family cannot solve. The multiple problems nearly overwhelm the story; they keep the dramatic tension high, but they also leave a few quick loose ends to tie at the conclusion.
Still, Jules is a lovable star with good friends and a supportive family, living a frenetic city life that is constantly entertaining. Fans of Clementine and Gooney Bird Greene will look forward to the next book in the series. (Fiction. 6-9)