Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyCharlotte, first discovered in Charlotte Cheetham: Master of Disaster, returns with a new place to put her liesin her new novel. Fat Pat Flack is a critical successat least among the fifth-grade lunch set at school. But Charlotte goes for the cheap thrillsanything to get the kids to like her workand is fast becoming a hack writer. And her path of deterioration parallels the perils of the real world: phonies sidle up to her, looking for a part in the play based on the book; her real friend deserts her; and unwanted advice comes from people wanting a piece of the action. Charlotte renews her literary aspirations just in time in this very funny novel; Himmelman adds his own black-and-white comic twists. Together, author and illustrator create a perfect microcosm of the lure of the big time, perfect for middle-grade readers. Ages 9-11. (March)
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-6 Friendship. Fame. Are they the same? What do they cost? These are the questions Charlotte must answer as she conscientiously tries to channel her pro pensity for telling lies into writing a nov el. Her lifelong friend Annie applauds Charlotte's efforts to convert anger over big sister Ruth's sarcasm and school mate Tina's bossiness into wild and wicked fiction. She predicts stardom for her. The work-in-progress begins to draw an eager audience at fifth-grade lunchtime each day. But as Charlotte's popularity with the ``in'' crowd rises, her friendship with quiet, dependable Annie wanes. Holmes develops her main character with integrity, even while maintaining a light, fast-flowing style seasoned with humor. Mr. and Mrs. Cheetham are accessible parents who nurture and support unobtrusively. As Charlotte works through her fling with fame and develops a writer's dis cernment of the inner motives behind people's actions, readers too gain inter personal understanding. It is not neces sary to have read Charlotte Cheetham (Harper, 1985) to enjoy this one. And a bonus: Mrs. Arnold, the personable school librarian, is Charlotte's men tor. Katharine Bruner, Brown Middle School, Harrison, Tenn.
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