Starring Jules (As Herself) by Beth Ain
When Jules is singing her new jingle for a fizzy ice-cream cone to her little brother and making lots of bubbles in their milk glasses, she is discovered and invited to audition for a mouthwash commercial. But even for a girl with lots of “pizzazz” there are difficulties to overcome. First, Jules finds out that the mouthwash is orange flavored, a flavor that makes her want to puke. Second, the only one she can see who can help her is her old best-friend Charlotte Stinkerton Pinkerton. Third, there’s a new girl in Jules’ class who may just be the perfect best friend ever, but Jules has to get to her first, before she joins the new clique that Charlotte has formed. It’s a complicated situation for Jules and the question is whether it will be just too much for this girl who is fizzy and filled with pizzazz.
Ain has created a character that reads like an older Clementine. Jules is wonderfully and innately quirky, obviously happy in her own skin. All of the small details and Jules’ unique view of the world serve to make her a beautifully human character. Happily, the same is true for the secondary characters as well. They are all richly drawn and complex. Friendship is shown in all of its miscommunication and mistakes.
Written with a light hand and a jaunty pace, this book will appeal to readers who have grown up with Clementine and are looking for a new heroine with plenty of individuality. Appropriate for ages 7-9.
Reviewed from ARC received from Scholastic.