CM . . . . Volume XX Number 28 . . . . March 21, 2014
Intended for a preteen audience, the books in the "Superstars!" series explain the hard work and successes as well as setbacks the performers encountered on their paths to stardom. Beginning with photos of the stars' families and stories of their inspirations, the books chronicle how the performers started their careers. Further sections include information about their lives both personal and professional. Colour photos are splashed throughout the book, and a timeline at the back of each book gives the reader a quick overview of the entertainer's accomplishments. On several pages, there are tidbits of additional information about the star, with, for example, "Baby Bump" about Beyoncé's pregnancy and "Significant Number" about the 'IV' tattoo that Beyoncé and Jay Z share being included in Beyoncé. Throughout the books, there are quotes from the singers at important times in their lives. The glossary explains bolded words from the text, words such as endorsement, lip-syncing and alter-ego. If readers want to find out more about each singer, the end of the book includes a brief bibliography as well as the performer's official websites and fan sites.
One of 30 titles in the "Superstars!" series, Beyoncé is an excellently written biography of this star. Students interested in finding out about their favourite entertainer can obtain all the information they need in one book. Beyoncé details the singer's initial affiliation with Girl's Tyme, Destiny's Child, and how she finally struck out on her own. Beyoncé's acting career has included roles in TV musicals, movies like Austin Powers in Goldmember, Dreamgirls and Bonnie and Clyde on MTV. Her life with boyfriend and later husband, Jay Z, is touched upon, as well as her step into the world of fashion with her clothing and fragrance lines. Perhaps the message that Beyoncé gives to her fans is one of her greatest feats. Beyoncé supports several charities aimed at helping girls. She has started the Girl Up group that organizes clubs and events for American girls to help improve the lives of girls around the world. She has helped with disaster relief in New Orleans and Haiti.
Bruno Mars is regarded as a versatile singer in the pop music scene. His "music is a combination of rock, reggae, R&B, soul, and hip hop." Born into a musical family, he began performing as an Elvis impersonator at age five. He is well-known as a songwriter and music producer. Bruno Mars details his highs and lows with recording companies and with the law. His many bands and songs are listed. He has made appearances on Sesame Street, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1 and even on the Cleveland Show. Bruno now performs in support of various charities, including The Candie's Foundation (teen pregnancy), Musicians On Call, the Red Cross, and The Rainforest Foundation UK.
Carly Rae Jepsen explains that this Canadian superstar first gained her success and popularity as a performer on Canadian Idol. Her song, "Call Me Maybe", became a hit after Justin Bieber heard it and tweeted about how much he liked it. Since then, Carly Rae has been touring and opening for various bands while supporting inclusiveness for all. She is a strong advocate for the Anti-Bullying movement. Carly Rae has also been branching out into fashion by appearing on the cover of Seventeen and has lent her voice to the Disney re-release of Little Mermaid.
All of the titles in the "Superstars!" series share the same design, layout and good information displayed in a reader-friendly format. They are all excellent choices for a school library.
Sherry Faller is a retired teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.