Sunday, September 29, 2013

Books for Kids Who Want Fame and Fortune

So you want to be in show business.  Lots of kids love the idea of being famous.  The books I am profiling this week show kids who are tackling the industry.  They are written by people who understand show business and give kids a real look at what happens behind the scenes.

Admitedly, parts of being famous are pretty glamorous, but there is a whole other side that I think will surprise the children who read these books.  So give your future Hollywood stars a reality check with some books that will give them an inside look into magic of movies and television.  Oh, and these books are so much fun, that even kids without Hollywood dreams will enjoy reading about the adventures in the entertainment industry.

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Title:       I Represent Sean Rosen

Author:   Jeff Baron

Target:    Grades 5-8

Series:     No

What this book is about:
Sean Rosen has a million dollar idea that will change the entertainment industry.  However, he doesn’t know a soul in Hollywood.  Sean decides to “practice” his approach by trying to get a movie sold to his second favorite company in the entertainment industry.  If that goes well, then maybe he will be able to move forward on his big idea.  Since no one wants to represent a thirteen year old boy, he invents a manager, Dan Welch.  This guy is good, so good in fact that Sean can’t believe his progress.

Why I love this book:
Ok, Sean is such a funny character that I was hooked from the first page.  Think thirteen year old boy who is nerdy, neurotic and full of hutzpah.  His deadpan humor just steals the show.

Of course the fun of the book is to see how far Sean can actually get with his made up manager, who really takes on a personality of his own.  If I have one complaint it is that kids may get frustrated that they never find out what the “big idea” actually is.

Who this book is for:
This book reminded me, in it’s tone, of Timmy Failure. so kids who liked that book should really like this one. 

Final thoughts:
I wish Sean’s manager Dan Welch represented this blog.  I think the two of us could really go places.

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon: I Represent Sean Rosen  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Title:       The Fizzy Whiz Kid

Author:   Maiya Williams

Target:    Grades 4-6

Series:     No

What this book is about:
Mitch has just moved to Hollywood because his parents are teaching at the local university.  His motto for starting at a new school is to blend in.  However, in Hollywood if you aren’t involved in the entertainment industry you stand out like a sore thumb.  So in an effort to be more like the kids at school, Mitch tries his hand at acting and lands a commercial for Fizzy Whiz soda.  But fame isn’t what he thought it would be and it seems to be keeping him from his new friends instead of helping him fit in.

Why I love this book:
This is a fun look at the entertainment industry.  The author is quite knowledgeable about sets and auditions, so the information felt like a real account of what it was like to be part of producing a commercial.  For kids interested in “the industry” it is a nice primer.

Of course fame always cuts two ways, and Mitch gets to see the good and bad of being famous.  He handles it like a real kid and that makes the book interesting and realistic.   I liked that the author also brought in a bit about the health issues surrounding sugary drinks.

Who this book is for:
Great for kids who have an interest in acting as well as kids who just like a fun read.

Final thoughts:
Hollywood is a tough town, even for a Fizzy Whiz kid!

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Fizzy Whiz Kid  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Title:       Commercial Breaks: Famous for Thirty Seconds

Author:   P. G. Kain

Target:    Grades 4-7

Series:     Yes

What this book is about:
Brittany Rush has been making commercials since she was still in diapers.  However, when her mother scores an overseas assignment in Hong Kong for a year, Brittany has to leave all that behind.  Upon her return she thinks she can pick up right where she left off, but instead of still being the “it” girl, she is now just one of many pretty faces.  Can she discover what makes her special, and when she does, will that change everything?

Why I love this book:
Ok, lets not beat around the bush, this book is not winning any Newbery awards, but this story is one I would have devoured when I was in middle school.  It is surprisingly well written for the tween genre and it also gives quite a realistic view of what it is like to be in commercials, rejection and all. 

The cover really gives the impression that it is a bubble gum novel, which is a shame, because while not deep and thought provoking, it has enough substance and is engaging enough that I though it was a worthwhile read, and I do not suffer idiot books lightly.

Who this book is for:
Great for tween girls who like the idea of modeling or acting.  This is not a sugar coated version of the industry, despite what the cover would imply.  Nothing inappropriate, all good clean fun.

Final thoughts:
This book totally appealed to my inner tween girl!

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon :Famous for Thirty Seconds (Commercial Breaks)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

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