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BRAND NEW EMILY  by Ginger Rue

BRAND NEW EMILY

By Ginger Rue

Age Range: 11 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-58246-269-1
Publisher: Tricycle

One of the eternal mysteries of middle school is the question of popularity: What makes one child popular while another is not? This fizzy, fun novel offers a clever, albeit tongue-in-cheek, answer: marketing. The plot centers on Emily Wood, a sympathetic eighth-grade girl who becomes an instant outcast after angering the ruling clique. Although a picked-on persona non grata, Emily is smart and resourceful, and after accidentally stumbling upon some secret information about a rising young star, she manages to get his PR agency to take her on. Her PR agent works to change her image from Emily, pariah and self-named poetry geek, into Brand Em, the girl everybody wants to be. It’s a smart premise, and besides having something pertinent to say about kindness, hubris and the perils of popularity, Rue also imparts insight into how celebrities are designed and marketed. But like any good sales campaign, the material is so enjoyable that readers might not even notice that they’ve learned something. (Fiction. 11 & up)