Third-grader Emma Perez is obsessed with becoming a famous star, and inspired by a news reporter on TV, Emma decides becoming a reporter is her path to fame; now she just needs to find her first story.
As it turns out, Emma’s father is also a reporter—the boring kind (you know, print)—and he instructs her in the basics of journalism. Emma's big break arrives when a classmate finds a worm in his hamburger. Emma interviews witnesses and tries to uncover the truth of what happened before the health inspector fires one of the cafeteria staff. Her father patiently guides her through the steps, helping her record news segments in videos posted to the school’s online bulletin board. Emma is confident, outgoing and tenacious. Her dual Dominican and American heritage is acknowledged, but culture is not a main plot point. Emma does occasionally speak Spanish, but it’s usually to get something she wants from an adult, and she provides readers with an immediate translation, “ ‘¿Por favor?’ That means ‘please’ in Spanish. Papi likes it when I speak Spanish.” Emma’s lively personality is evident in the cartoonish black-and-white illustrations. The predictable plot wraps up neatly, setting the stage for more in the series.
Light on substance but an entertaining series debut nonetheless. (Fiction. 6-8)