Todd's first mystery, an award-winning who-done-it about a drunk driving accident.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Gr 8-11–At 14, Jamie Gordon took some photos of a model’s embarrassing moment and sold them to a tabloid, which led to her own first taste of fame. Now 16 and a professional paparazzo, she is in LA to document a week in the life of starlet Willow Twine. Jamie feels as if she and Willow are friends, and she considers staying there to focus her energy on becoming the “Annie Leibovitz of the LA young actor scene.” Her boyfriend, Nasim, is a complicating factor, and so is the mysterious lack of communication from Avy, a close friend and aspiring actor who ran away to LA eight months earlier. Then Jamie discovers six photos on her camera that could ruin Willow’s career–and send Jamie’s to new heights. Suspense about a man who is stalking Willow, what’s in those pictures, and who took them drives this fast-paced narrative. Chapters jump between various episodes in Jamie’s freshman and sophomore years, interwoven with emails to Nasim and dispatches from Avy’s ill-fated trip to Tijuana for plastic surgery. Paying attention to chapter headings is essential to track each thread of the story. Strasser is a serious name-dropper, but the underlying message about the cost of fame is a sobering one. The author, best known for grittier novels, shows impressive range here, though a subplot about Jamie’s disabled brother feels tacked on. Nonetheless, this book is likely to be snapped up and make a lasting impression on readers.–Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA
My only quibble with the review (aside from the tacked on line about Jamie's brother) is that she calls be a serious name dropper. After all, it's a book about people thirsting for fame. Wouldn't it be out of character for them NOT to drop names?
Posted by Stephen at 6:48 AM
Monday, April 18, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Jamie Gordon, recently dubbed “New York’s youngest paparazzo,” wants to become a professional celebrity photographer. When she lands the opportunity to spend a week living with teen megastar Willow Twine in L.A., photographing her and documenting her life, it’s a dream come true. Willow, recently out of rehab, is trying to salvage her damaged career, but is still partying. When Jamie finds photos that could make her career and ruin Willow’s, she is faced with the biggest decision of her life. Strasser has written a novel that exposes the magical lure of celebrity. He shows how even the most sought after truths often hide the darkest lies. Jamie is a fully believable character with whom readers will identify. Strasser presents a story about a young girl who wants to find fame, but the reader can see that she is sacrificing personal relationships to do so. The message is clear, but in a thoughtful rather than preachy way, as Jamie reflects on what she has learned. This is a good read that is taken from today’s celebrity headlines; it should surely hook teens looking for a good story that they can identify with. --Library Media Connection, May/June 2011
Posted by Stephen at 9:56 AM
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Hi Todd, Thanks so much for an amazing visit. I have heard great feedback from many students. I also want to thank you for the book reccommendations. My son Ty is nose deep in Holes. Thanks again for everything! Kendra Kendra Griffin, District 64 Elementary Learning Foundation, PO Box 114, Park Ridge, IL 60068 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Stephen at 6:41 AM
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The award is sponsored by the Illinois School Library Media Association and was nominated by the students of Illinois.
Posted by Stephen at 3:40 AM