Maren’s hometown is holding a contest, and a meeting with her celebrity crush is the prize.
The latest series from Team Cheer! author Jones features a group of best friends who call themselves the Sleepover Girls, as almost every Friday they have a sleepover. The novel starts with character sketches: There’s energetic comedienne Maren, creative bohemian Willow, go-getter Delaney and fashionista Ashley. (Evidently, dark-skinned Delaney and Italian-American Ashley provide diversity.) The other thing that defines Maren is her crush on pop star Luke Lewis. He’s coming to their hometown (his also), Portland, Oregon, suburb of Valley View, for a concert, and the town’s having a contest to determine which resident will get to help present him with a key to the city. The most creative “Love Letter to Valley View” wins. After much brainstorming, Maren and her friends put together a lovingly crafted, highly decorated scrapbook of photos and letters of and from the town’s residents. But then it goes missing from Maren’s unlocked locker, leaving the Sleepover Girls to wonder who took it—was it the wealthy, mean-girl twins, Franny and Zoey Martin?—and whether Maren will miss her chance to meet her idol. The characters are sometimes hard to keep track of, appearing mostly when their skill sets are needed. Topics like divorce and ADHD are not stigmatized but presented as normal facets of life.
A gentle, lighthearted look at friendship and creativity. (personality quiz) (Fiction. 7-11)