________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 33 . . . . April 29, 2011


I So Don't Do Famous.

Barrie Summy.
New York, NY: Delacorte Press (Distributed in Canada by Random House Canada), 2011.
294 pp., hardcover, e-book, $22.99 (hc.), $16.99 (e-book).
ISBN 978-0-385-90699-9 (hc.), ISBN 978-0-375-89947-8 (e-book).

Subject Headings:
Mystery and detective stories.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reader's Copy.



An ex-con.

I've never met one. I've never questioned one. I've never searched for one.

But tomorrow I'm doing all three.

Who can sleep with that on their mind? Not me. It's two o'clock in the morning, and I've probably gotten one whole second of shut-eye.

Junie is übercranky if she doesn't get her required ten hours. No way I can face an übercranky Junie and an ex-con. So I quietly push back the covers, throw on some clothes, and grab a room key and my purse.

I tiptoe into the dim hall, past the photos of movie stars lining the walls, and ride the escalator down to the lobby level. The hotel café, 25 Degrees, is open all night. The name stands for the number of degrees difference between cooking a medium-rare versus a well-done hamburger. This is the kind of trivia you pick up when you hang around Junie.

When Sherlock Holmes solves crimes, he has Watson. Thirteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes Baldwin has a ghost. I So Don't Do Famous is the fourth book in Summy's tween mystery series. When Sherry is in Hollywood collecting first prize in the Hollywood Girl contest for her essay on true love, she unknowingly invites two wanted teenaged criminals into the security-tight awards ceremony. A diamond purse is stolen from the famous Dear Elle, and because Sherry feels responsible, she decides to help the police catch the perpetrators. Sherry's best friend, Junie, is available to assist with the investigation; that is, when she's not texting her new boyfriend Nick. From the ghost world, Sherry has the help of her mom (who can be summoned with coffee beans) and a new ghost named Leah. Leah is Sherry's age, and she is going through something very similar to what Sherry is going through with her boyfriend heartache! Junie helps Sherry narrow down the suspect list. Sherry's mom is able to protect her when one of the criminals comes after her, and Leah's knowledge of Hollywood and her ability to eavesdrop effectively come in handy when Sherry is in trouble with the Beverly Hills Bandits.

      I enjoyed Sherry's undercover work in this book. Everything that could go wrong does, but she is still able to solve the case and gain the respect of those working in the Academy of Spirits. And the inclusion of a Marilyn Monroe subplot was interesting because it enabled the author to include information about Hollywood's history and famous attractions. This book does have a paranormal storyline, but it also incorporates themes you'd find in a contemporary fiction book. Sherry is trying to keep her mind off her ex-boyfriend, Josh. She's learning to appreciate her new step-mom, although she still calls her The Ruler, and she's also settling fights between jealous friends. My only criticisms about this book are that it didn't include the words to Sherry's prize winning essay about true love, and it didn't have enough scenes with my favorite character Sherry's grandpa, the ghost bird.

      Barrie Summy spent her childhood in Canada. She has a degree in French, Canadian Literature and Speech Pathology. Today, she lives with her family in California.


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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