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PETE MILANO'S GUIDE TO BEING A MOVIE STAR

From the Charlie Joe Jackson series

Alas, there’s no blockbuster here.

Can Charlie Joe Jackson’s pal Pete Milano survive the transition from school prankster to Hollywood movie star?

On the run after his most recent prank (stealing Eliza Collins’ pompoms), Pete ducks into a coffee shop and meets Iris Galt, an actual movie producer. She thinks he has “relate-ability” and invites him to audition for her latest film. Everyone at school thinks he’s just pulling a prank until he gets the job. Then he has to learn how to juggle being in a movie and going to school. He has to learn his lines and be responsible, and that doesn’t mesh with his pranking persona or keeping in touch with his friends. The most difficult balancing act turns out to be keeping his real girlfriend, Puerto Rican new girl Mareli, while acting opposite gorgeous megastar Shana Fox. Shana makes that impossible when she decides to use Pete to make her boyfriend jealous. Dotted with Pete’s own captioned illustrations (which don’t add as much as they might), Greenwald’s newest Charlie Joe Jackson spinoff is a bit bland. The many inane screenplay excerpts from Sammy and the Princess, Pete’s movie, that punctuate the narrative halt what little action Pete’s tale has. Engaging Everykid Pete is lost in a predictable and strangely unfunny tale.

Alas, there’s no blockbuster here. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62672-167-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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CHARLOTTE'S WEB

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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BROWN GIRL DREAMING

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

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  • National Book Award Winner


  • Newbery Honor Book

A multiaward–winning author recalls her childhood and the joy of becoming a writer.

Writing in free verse, Woodson starts with her 1963 birth in Ohio during the civil rights movement, when America is “a country caught / / between Black and White.” But while evoking names such as Malcolm, Martin, James, Rosa and Ruby, her story is also one of family: her father’s people in Ohio and her mother’s people in South Carolina. Moving south to live with her maternal grandmother, she is in a world of sweet peas and collards, getting her hair straightened and avoiding segregated stores with her grandmother. As the writer inside slowly grows, she listens to family stories and fills her days and evenings as a Jehovah’s Witness, activities that continue after a move to Brooklyn to reunite with her mother. The gift of a composition notebook, the experience of reading John Steptoe’s Stevie and Langston Hughes’ poetry, and seeing letters turn into words and words into thoughts all reinforce her conviction that “[W]ords are my brilliance.” Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned.

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25251-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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