CHILD STAR: When Talkies Came to Hollywood by Lydia Weaver

CHILD STAR: When Talkies Came to Hollywood

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Joey's dreams are realized when he becomes Little Joey Norman, child star in silent films in 1927. Barely managing to make ends meet, Joey's widowed mother plays the piano at a movie studio. Accompanying her one day, Joey is enchanted at how the illusion of reality is created and thrilled when he meets fading star Fozzy Dixon, ""the funniest man in the world."" Fozzy gets Joey a job; he's an instant success, but stardom brings long days of hard work and heavy responsibilities as well as money to fulfill his dreams. Joey successfully crosses over into ""talkies,"" but Fozzy's stammer ends his career in films. A small, curly-haired moppet, Joey remains true to his irrepressible, fun-loving ten-year-old self, even in the midst of the narcissistic film world. Through Joey's eyes, the reader learns how silent films were made and sees the changes necessitated by sound. This brief, tightly written book in the ""Once Upon America"" series captures both the glamour and the seamier side of early Hollywood, providing a fascinating bit of history that is sure to enliven social studies units.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Viking