Close to Famous
by Bauer, Joan
School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-When Jane and her brother inherit their late mother's childhood home in Coney Island, the siblings and their dad leave London and move into it. There they experience a shockingly different culture filled with roller coasters, dwarves, bearded girls, and mermaids. Struggling to find her place in their new, unconventional high school, Jane stumbles upon a secret social club that her mother founded years earlier. As this discovery raises even more questions, she searches for answers from Leo, a strangely familiar tattooed boy. They explore the mysteries surrounding her family's carnie past with a set of hidden keys belonging to the amusement park. This book does a wonderful job of pairing eccentric details concerning Coney Island's past with a whimsical undertone. Any teen who has felt like an outsider in a new environment will devour this book.-Stephanie Malosh, Donoghue Elementary School, Chicago, IL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly When Jane and her brother inherit the house in Coney Island where their late mother grew up, they move in with their father, planning to stay one year to prepare the house for sale. Sixteen-year-old Jane has lived everywhere from London to Tokyo, but amid Coney Island's rundown attractions and checkered history, she hopes to find clues about the mother she desperately misses. Palpable without being melodramatic, Jane's longing is well-wrought, as is the supporting cast of teenage dwarves, giants, and other Brooklyn natives, including a love interest for Jane. The mysteries Altebrando (What Happens Here) weaves into her story (what is the Dreamland Social Club? what iconic Coney sites do the keys Jane finds unlock? why is the carousel horse chained to a radiator in their living room so important?) will keep readers engaged, though not much really happens. Rather, this is a languid, introspective novel about a search for identity and meaning; against the backdrop of impending gentrification and development, both Jane and Coney Island itself are caught between the pull of the past and the uncertainty of the future. Ages 14-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list Jane, a self-admitte. Looky Lo. afraid to take risks, is the type of girl with a closet full of gray skirts. Her high-school career has been defined by constant moves throughout Europe as her widower father searches for work. Yet, when her grandfather dies, the family inherits a new house in her mother's childhood home, near Coney Island in Brooklyn. Jane must acclimate to a high-school atmosphere in which the cliques resemble sideshow acts. As Jane and her brother, Marcus, delve into their departed mother's past, she recaptures bits of memories of life before her mother died and clues about her mother'. carn. past amid the glitz of Coney Island in its heyday. This novel offers typical teenage issues and the angst over making friends and catching the right boy's eye, but it is also a study in diversity, acceptance, and what it means to b. norma. as introverted Jane learns that everyone has his or her own freakishness to overcome.--Anderson, Eri. Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.