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ANNABEL THE ACTRESS STARRING IN JUST A LITTLE EXTRA by Ellen Conford

ANNABEL THE ACTRESS STARRING IN JUST A LITTLE EXTRA

By Ellen Conford (Author) , Renee W. Andriani (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-689-81405-4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Conford’s (Crush, 1999, etc.) wit twinkles in her delightful new chapter book that chronicles the return of Annabel, the aspiring actress who is about to get her “Big Break.” “I’ve been waiting to be discovered for years,” the ten-year-old tells the director of Day After Doom, a television movie that plans to use local citizens as extras. The movie is a scary thriller and Annabel, who desperately wants to be cast, spends the night practicing her “screaming, choking and fainting” so loudly and convincingly that she drives her father from the living room and gives herself a headache and a sore throat. On the big day, Annabel, along with her best friend Maggie and Maggie’s older brother, join the throngs of people waiting to be cast as well as those hoping to get a glimpse of actress Winona McCall, who is starring in the movie. When the high-spirited Annabel finds out that her acting job is not the sure thing she thought it was, she stages a scene of her own, winning for herself if not a speaking part, then at least a screaming one. Annabel is an appealing creation, sassy and sunny, and Conford gets plenty of comic juice out of her gung-ho off-center perspective. The book also has a good time poking gentle fun at the acting community—when the director asks Annabel if she’s eight, for example, Annabel tells him that she’s ten, but that she “dressed young.” Enhanced by Andriani’s charming black-and-white drawings, younger girls in search of a funny, fast-paced chapter book need look no further.(Fiction. 7-10)