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Allegra Biscotti Collection

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Overview

Emma Rose is SO not a diva.

She doesn't want her turn on the catwalk-she'd rather be behind the scenes creating fabulous outfits! So when a famous fashionista discovers Emma's designs and offers her the opportunity of a lifetime-a feature in Madison magazine (squeal!)-Emma sort of, well, panics. She has only one option: to create a secret identity.

And so Allegra Biscotti is born.

Allegra is worldly, ...

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Overview

Emma Rose is SO not a diva.

She doesn't want her turn on the catwalk-she'd rather be behind the scenes creating fabulous outfits! So when a famous fashionista discovers Emma's designs and offers her the opportunity of a lifetime-a feature in Madison magazine (squeal!)-Emma sort of, well, panics. She has only one option: to create a secret identity.

And so Allegra Biscotti is born.

Allegra is worldly, sophisticated, and bold-everything Emma is not. But the pressure is on. And Emma quickly discovers juggling school, a new crush, friends, and a secret identity might not be as glamorous as she thought.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Emma, the affable protagonist of this effervescent series launch, faces familiar eighth-grade quandaries. Her best friend is cozying up to superficial popular girls, one of whom has Emma's crush in her sights. Her grades are plummeting, and her mother constantly nags her to study more. It's what Emma is focusing on rather than schoolwork that lifts the novel from being standard middle-grade fare. A talented fashion designer and seamstress, Emma spends after-school hours sketching and sewing at her father's lace company. When a high-profile fashion editor is captivated by Emma's designs, Emma, worried she won't be taken seriously, passes them off as the work of the fictitious Allegra Biscotti. The ruse quickly spins out of control: the editor touts Allegra as a designer to watch and insists that she create--on a tight deadline--three original designs to showcase in her magazine. Despite the improbable premise, credible characterizations and dialogue keep the novel real. For Project Runway aspirants, Bennett slips in detailed descriptions of the teens' outfits and Emma's designs, which appear in spot art. Ages 8–12. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"Emma, the affable protagonist of this effervescent series launch, faces familiar eighth-grade quandaries. Her best friend is cozying up to superficial popular girls, one of whom has Emma's crush in her sights. Her grades are plummeting, and her mother constantly nags her to study more. It's what Emma is focusing on rather than schoolwork that lifts the novel from being standard middle-grade fare. A talented fashion designer and seamstress, Emma spends after-school hours sketching and sewing at her father's lace company. When a high-profile fashion editor is captivated by Emma's designs, Emma, worried she won't be taken seriously, passes them off as the work of the fictitious Allegra Biscotti. The ruse quickly spins out of control: the editor touts Allegra as a designer to watch and insists that she create—on a tight deadline—three original designs to showcase in her magazine... Credible characterizations and dialogue keep the novel real. For Project Runway aspirants, Bennett slips in detailed descriptions of the teens' outfits and Emma's designs, which appear in spot art. Ages 8—12. (Nov.) " - Publishers Weekly

"Gr 5-8—This book manages to make the wildly implausible seem possible. When Emma, 14, becomes the hottest new fashion designer for the Voguelike Madison magazine, she does it through hard work and the help of an old hand. She's given herself the nom de plume "Allegra Biscotti" to cover up that she's the girl the editor met at her father's lace warehouse. Emma comes off as a believable teen. She likes a boy who seems unattainable and disregards Charlie, her supportive friend and accomplice in deception. Holly, her other BFF, has become part of an in-crowd Emma has no desire to join. But the luscious descriptions of the clothes Emma imagines are the best aspect of the book. Tiny sketches accompany most of them and add charm to the pages. Trying to come up with three alluring new designs, the protagonist lets her grades slide, gets in trouble with her parents, and ends up enlisting the aid of the capable Marjorie, an office administrator who was a professional seamstress. Emma, Marjorie, and Charlie are well rounded... Kids interested in fashion are sure to become fans of the Allegra Biscotti collection.—Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, " - School Library Journal

""ALLEGRA BISCOTTI COLLECTION by Olivia Bennett; ages 9-11 is about a 14 yr old who becomes a fashion designer; Coco Chanel step aside!" The voice is perfect for projecting the personality of the main characters. I especially liked the personalities of the Ivana-bees! I remember those girls in school!" — Judith Lafitte, Octavia Books" -

""The wild adventures of Emma Rose will keep readers laughing. Young fashonistas will appreciate Emma's keen eye for style, and might even inspire girls to try their own hand at design. Allegra Biscotti is a must for all Tween collections."
—The CATS Meow (Baker & Taylor Newsletter) Rita Reale, Children's Librarian
" -

"This novel features likeable characters, snappy dialog, and an entertaining plot. Many teens will relate to the subplots of the shifting friendships, new crushes, and attempts to outsmart adults. Sketches of outfits scattered throughout the book add to the fun... Younger teens, especially those interested in fashion, will enjoy this fun, fast-paced read." - VOYA

"This one's for fashionistas! When one of Emma Rose's homemade designs is spotted by a fashion editor, Emma has to make up a secret identity as a sophisticated designer and finds that balancing school, boys and a glamorous career is a lot more complicated than she though (right, Miley?). " - Pixie magazine

As a mother, I was surprised by how much I liked these books. The stories were very entertaining, but I actually liked the messages even more. Both books were very clean and while they did delve a bit into crushes, it was all very sweet. At first I was worried because Emma and Charlie seemed to be creating a lot of stories (and lies...); however,Emma did eventually tell her parents about Allegra Biscotti's identity. I liked that Emma got punished for lying, but I really loved that her parents listened to her and supported her love of fashion. In addition, there were so many important messages about friendship and staying true to one's self. I don't think tween girls can hear either of those things too many times. —Booking Mama

VOYA - Amy Fiske
Eighth-grade fashion prodigy Emma Rose spends all her free time designing clothes and creating fabulous outfits. And between trying to keep her grades up, watching her best friend drift toward the popular girls, working at her father's wholesale lace business, and crushing on Jackson Creedon from afar, Emma does not have much time to spare. When a fashion editor unwittingly stumbles upon Emma's secret studio at her father's warehouse and demands the name of the designer, Emma panics and makes up a name on the spot—Allegra Biscotti is born. Ruthless and driven enough to accept the transparent ruse, the editor features Emma's designs in a magazine story on designers to watch. Dramatic hilarity ensues as Emma tries to live a double life and stay one step ahead of each white lie. Maintaining a charade is not easy, especially for a fourteen-year-old operating in an adult world. Can Emma find a way out before her house of cards collapses? The novel features likeable characters, snappy dialog, and an entertaining plot. Many teens will relate to the subplots of the shifting friendships, new crushes, and attempts to outsmart adults. Sketches of outfits scattered throughout the book add to the fun. Emma's ingenuousness skews a bit younger than her fourteen years, which may bother older or more sophisticated readers. The final resolution stretches the limits of credulity but opens the door to a sequel. Younger teens, especially those interested in fashion, will enjoy this fun, fast-paced read. Reviewer: Amy Fiske
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—This book manages to make the wildly implausible seem possible. When Emma, 14, becomes the hottest new fashion designer for the Voguelike Madison magazine, she does it through hard work and the help of an old hand. She's given herself the nom de plume "Allegra Biscotti" to cover up that she's the girl the editor met at her father's lace warehouse. Emma comes off as a believable teen. She likes a boy who seems unattainable and disregards Charlie, her supportive friend and accomplice in deception. Holly, her other BFF, has become part of an in-crowd Emma has no desire to join. But the luscious descriptions of the clothes Emma imagines are the best aspect of the book. Tiny sketches accompany most of them and add charm to the pages. Trying to come up with three alluring new designs, the protagonist lets her grades slide, gets in trouble with her parents, and ends up enlisting the aid of the capable Marjorie, an office administrator who was a professional seamstress. Emma, Marjorie, and Charlie are well rounded but other characters are vague, including the somewhat stereotyped editor and the snobby clique that attracts Holly. Still, kids interested in fashion are sure to become fans of the Allegra Biscotti collection.—Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402243912
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 321,276
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.14 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Olivia Bennet has had a passion for fashion since she was a young girl, putting together surprising outfits for the daily fashion show that took place in the school hallways. When not writing fashion-forward books for tweens, Olivia can be found hot-gluing and sewing amazing DIY projects. Olivia loves to mix-and-match...and then mix it up some more.

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue:
The Game

Definitely the faux-fur scarf. But not in teal...maybe an eggplant with silver flecks would work.

She quickly sketched the scarf onto the heavy white paper. As her pencil danced across the page, the whole world faded away. At least for a minute or two.

She glanced up, scanning the breathing-room-only subway car. Person to person, outfit to outfit, her eyes jumped around like a robotic scanning device in a science-fiction movie. Colors, patterns, fabrics, textures, and shapes leaped out at her. Turquoise set against a rich chocolate brown. A collar the same acid-green color and gnarly texture of Oscar the Grouch. A perfectly cut A-line skirt that hit just the right place, where the thigh curves in slightly. Black over hot-pink tights. She never stopped at the faces. It wasn't about the faces. It was all about the clothes.

Always had been.

She couldn't always remember people's names, but she could describe the outfit they were wearing when she met them-down to the shape of the buttons-without having to think for a single second. Her mother loved to tell about the time when she was three or four and said, "I want the baby-sitter with the violet halter top, the skirt that looks like it was made out of jeans, and the triangle heels on her shoes." She loved wedges even before she knew what they were.

The sound of the doors snapping shut shook her from her daydreams. She only had two more stops to finish the Game. People jostled into the packed car, causing a man in a stained tan overcoat to roll his eyes with annoyance as he grasped the pole. She actually liked it when the subway car was crowded. The more people, the more outfits she could choose from for the Game.

The object of the Game was deceptively simple: Choose separate items of clothing from different people on the subway to create a fashion "wow." Colors could be changed, and silhouettes altered a bit. The resulting outfit had to be one that she would wear-well, that is if she were going someplace more fabulous than middle school.

It was a game of skill and speed: She had to complete the challenge before the subway reached her stop. And at this time of the morning, the city's resident fashionistas hadn't even sipped their first lattes, much less stepped a stiletto onto the subway, which made scoring points that much harder. A burst of laughter drew her attention down the aisle. Three college-aged girls circled closely around the same silver pole, chatting loudly to one another as if they were at a party. The tallest of the three wore a military-like flack jacket.

Perfect! If she changed the drab green to a sleeker steel blue, it would totally work. Her pencil flew into overdrive. As she sketched, she slimmed the cut to create a more feminine, less bulky shape. All she needed now was a bottom of some kind to add to her halfdressed female figure.

The subway stopped, and the doors opened. People pushed out and more piled in, revealing a fresh batch of new fashion candidates. Suddenly, a college girl with a side ponytail leaped through the closing doors, just making it before they caught her in their unforgiving death grip. She wore the most fabulous pair of cherry-red patent leather boots.

They must be vintage, Emma thought. She could tell by their shape-low, boxy heels and squared-off toes-and their quality. The patent leather looked real, not fake and plasticky. True, they weren't pants, but she could still make the boots work.

With seconds to spare, she added them to her sketch and then linked the jacket to the awesome boots with simple bold lines to stand in for basic black leggings.

Finished!

She gazed at her newest creation. The outfit's bold charcoal lines contrasted with the stark white of the paper. Later, she'd pull out her colored pencils and Pantone markers to fill in the lines according to the color notes she'd made in the margins. She'd fiddle a little more to make the outfit even better. Maybe make the scarf longer or the jacket skinnier or even stretch it out into a short dress.

The train jerked to a halt. Closing her sketchbook, this one bound in amethyst Chinese brocade, she tucked it safely into her bag.

The Game was over.

Time for school.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 108 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(76)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 110 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 24, 2011

    A Great Read- Check It Out!!!!

    Such a great book for those who have a true passion for the design of fashion. Funny, sad, happy, and silly are just a few of the emotions you will feel when you read this book. 2 words to describe it are unique and incredible

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    This book inspired me so much

    When I first finished the Allegra Biscotti Collection, I ran to my mom and asked, " Mom, can you teach me how to sew clothes?" My mom just stared at me with a puzzled look on her face then said " Since when were you into fashion?" She asked. I ran over to my room and showed her the book. " I'll see what I can do." She sighed " Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!!" I squealed. Now I'm taking fashion classes for fashion at the school of art. Thank you so much Olivia Bennet for inspiring me!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    Really good

    Great for girls who love fashion

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    OMG!"!

    Awsome book! Ya no whats funny? My name is Emma Rose!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    Amazong

    Calling all fashionistas! This book totally rocked! It is perfect for all girls who love fashion/designing! Defineitely a must read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Awesome book!

    I picked this book up and i could NOT put it down. I gave it to my BFF and she loves it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    Not Over You Girl

    I absolutely adore this book. Emma is a girl I can really relate to unlike most novels. Definitely recommend this book to girls (or guys) who love fashion. Also if you enjoy this book, the show Jane by Design is a favorite of mine.

    Be kind to one another!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2011

    Boring

    Boring

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2011

    Kritters Ramblings

    A middle grade read that kept me laughing and falling in love with the characters until the last page. If you are a follower of this blog, you know that I don't tend to read middle grade books, but this is one not to pass on. I loved the story of a girl who is an outsider, but finds joy in her talents even though some may say she is too young to be a professional.

    The trial and tribulations of high school mixed with the dream of becoming a fashion designer seemed believeable and endearing. More often than not, the reason I don't read this genre is because there is a lack of realistic voice and context - not so with this one, she hit the voice and the drama of that age dead on. I was transported back to that time in my life and made me wonder what things I dreamed of and what pushed my buttons that I wish I had overcome. Such a sweet character, full of honesty.

    The random drawings throughout the book gave it character and made you even more connected with Emma Rose - you were in her mind as she sketched what she saw.

    I will definitely be looking for the next in this series. A great read for the younger audience as a motivator to dream and how to deal with the mess that life can throw at you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    It okay

    Its not the best book I have ever read

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2011

    fantastic book

    this book was amazing and a good read on the nook. I would recomend it to any girls inbetween the ages of 10-14

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for Teens Read Too

    Emma wants to be a fashion designer more than anything. She has a small room at her father's warehouse where she designs and sews clothes. Every day on the way to school, she creates the ultimate fashion outfit from taking different pieces she sees and changing them to fit her style. When a famous fashionista comes down to her father's warehouse and stumbles upon her designs, it's almost miraculous. Except for one small detail: it's hard to be a fashion designer when you're only in eighth grade. On the spot, Emma makes up the secret identity of Allegra Biscotti for her designs. Now, she's exchanging texts with a fashion editor from Madison magazine for a feature interview. After the interview airs, the editor asks for three unique items from her Spring Collection. Her friend, Charlie, helps her keep her lies straight and helps create a business persona. He's the only one who knows the truth. Emma can't risk telling her BFF, Holly, because Holly's infiltrating the popular crowd. As much as she tries to bring Emma into the group, Emma resists. She can't stand how superficial the girls can be, and she can't stand how they're supposed to be best friends while they're mean to each other. As the deadline looms, Emma's not sure she can finish creating these pieces. I really enjoyed this book - the first in a new series dealing with friendship drama, lies, fashion, and decisions about the future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2010

    great!

    this was a really good book.i can't wait to read the next one!plus it has beautiful illustrations throughout the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2014

    I love it.

    Since I want to be a designer, it inspired me!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2014

    Great Book

    I like this book a lot! I definitely recommend it to anyone. I especially like the character Charlie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2014

    Best book!!

    This is one of the best books ever.It also helps that I want to be a fashion designer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Totaly

    You are totally right about that, review #14 that was an awesome review and totally right. CALLING ALL FASHION-LOVERS, READ THIS BOOK!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2013

    Cool

    Totally awesome!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Love this book!!!!!!!!

    This book is awesome and great for anyone looking for a good book a great read. I thourly love these books they are very entertaining. This is the first book in the series. I have read the other book that one was slightly better and faster pasted. This overall is a great book.

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    Cute, quick read.

    Cute, quick read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 110 Customer Reviews

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