________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 19. . . .January 17, 2014


Carrie Underwood. (Superstars!).

Kylie Burns.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2013.
32 pp., pbk., hc., pdf & html, $9.95 (pbk.) $20.76 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-0043-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-0024-1 (RLB.), ISBN 978-1-4271-9384-1 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4271-9378-0 (html).

Subject Headings:
Underwood, Carrie, 1983-Juvenile literature.
Singers-United States-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Country musicians-United States-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Suzanne Pierson.

*** /4



Reaching Out

Carrie Underwood’s unbelievable success has not changed the person she has always been. From an early age, her compassion and kindness toward others fueled her desire to help those in need. Recently, part of her home state of Oklahoma was destroyed by devastating tornadoes. Several families lost their loved ones, and many more lost homes and businesses. Carrie pledged an incredible amount of money from her Blown Away Tour – one million dollars – to the American Red Cross.


Carrie Underwood tells the story of the American country music singer and songwriter, Carrie Underwood, who rocketed to stardom when she won American Idol in 2005. Underhill has a Canadian connection. In 2010, she married a Canadian, Mike Fisher, a National Hockey League player, who, at the time, played for the Ottawa Senators.

     The greatest strength of Carrie Underwood is the high interest appeal to readers. Like other books in the “Superstars!” series, this book is about a famous entertainer who has made it big in the entertainment business while still very young. Young readers will be encouraged to follow their dreams when they read about the challenges and triumphs of this well-known singer.

     The biggest weakness of all of the books in the “Superstars!” series, including Carrie Underwood, is the speed at which this content will be out-of-date. Buy them in paperback, let them circulate as much as possible before they wear out, and then dispose of them so that you can make room for the next bunch of superstars.

     Carrie Underwood follows the same content organization as other books in the “Superstars!” series. Underwood is introduced, readers learn about where and when she was born, her early life, and how she got started in show business. The rest of the book goes through the accomplishments of the rising star on her way to becoming a superstar. The book ends with a look ahead to what may be in Underwood’s near future. The final section is a timeline starting at birth and listing highlights and accomplishments up to 2013.

     Each book in the “Superstars!” series also includes a table of contents, simple glossary, a list of books and websites for those who want to find out more, and an index. One feature that I like is the explanation on the Contents page that states: “Words that are defined in the glossary are in bold type the first time they appear in the text.” For young readers not yet familiar with this convention, this is a clear explanation; for others it is a good reminder.

     This series is filled with high interest, up-to-date information, supported by a generous quantity of photographs. The books are created with about a 50/50 split between text and full colour photos. The text size is large, and so these books will appeal to young readers learning to read for information in nonfiction books.

     If you need this title, buy it in paperback.


Suzanne Pierson is a retired teacher-librarian, currently instructing Librarianship courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.

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

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