ISABELLA FOR REAL by Margie Palatini


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 12
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Beware the dangers of YouTube celebrity!

Eleven-year-old Isabella is in a serious bind. Her cousin Vincent, who is a film school student, filmed her playing herself for a class project. And what a character she is! A white New Jersey girl from an Italian-American family, her character is portrayed with an over-the-top, frenetic brush. Every archetype of both Jersey and Italian-Americans is pushed to the max with warmth and a sense of humor. When Vincent posts his video on YouTube, Isabella becomes an instant sensation. Unfortunately, Isabella has been leading a double life. She has just started attending a private school and, in an effort to fit in with her peers, has been pretending to come from a much more glamorous background. Now with her newfound but most definitely unwanted celebrity she will be exposed as a “fibbing, faking, phony.” The story is told in a mix of narrated film scenes (with the occasional multiple take) and Pham’s comic art, both contributing to accelerate the pace of the account. This is a timely story in an age where kids are being constantly reminded of the perils of revealing too much on social media.

A funny, cautionary tale for the age of social media. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-544-14846-8
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: HMH Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2016


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