Close to Famous

Close to Famous

4.7 136
by Joan Bauer
     
 

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Foster McFee dreams of having her own cooking show like her idol, celebrity chef Sonny Kroll. Macon Dillard's goal is to be a documentary filmmaker. Foster's mother Rayka longs to be a headliner instead of a back-up singer. And Miss Charleena plans a triumphant return to Hollywood. Everyone has a dream, but nobody is even close to famous in the little town of

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Overview

Foster McFee dreams of having her own cooking show like her idol, celebrity chef Sonny Kroll. Macon Dillard's goal is to be a documentary filmmaker. Foster's mother Rayka longs to be a headliner instead of a back-up singer. And Miss Charleena plans a triumphant return to Hollywood. Everyone has a dream, but nobody is even close to famous in the little town of Culpepper. Until some unexpected events shake the town and its inhabitants-and put their big ambitions to the test. Full of humor, unforgettable characters, surprises, and lots and lots of heart, this is Joan Bauer at her most engaging.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bauer (Peeled) tweaks a familiar recipe in this heartwarming novel about a determined girl who faces adversity with humor, heart—and cupcakes. A recent sixth-grade graduate (by the skin of her teeth), Foster McFee lands in tiny Culpepper, W.Va., with her mother after the two of them hightail it away from Mom's abusive, Elvis-impersonator boyfriend in Memphis. Foster has already known her share of tough times: her soldier father was killed in Iraq, and she's been struggling through school, unable to read. But Foster's dream of having her own show on the Food Network is a powerful force, and she takes comfort in baking and in emulating her favorite TV chef. With the help of kind and quirky locals, including a former movie star, Foster makes friends, earns fans for her cupcakes, and even begins to conquer her reading difficulties. Bauer skillfully brings readers to the heart of Culpepper with rich depictions of a contemporary small town and its residents and rhythms. The characters' eventual triumphs are the type that this author's fans eat up. Ages 10–up. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Sixth-grader Foster McFee is a supremely talented baker and dreams of being a famous television chef like Sonny Kroll, star of her favorite show on the Food Network, but she has already had to face some major challenges in her life. After her father's death in combat in Iraq, she and her mother, a talented singer, have had a hard time financially, and ultimately they are forced to leave Memphis in order to escape her mother's abusive Elvis-impersonator boyfriend. Worst of all, Foster is unable to read because of a learning disability. When she and her mother accidentally end up in Culpepper, WV, Foster finds some unlikely supporters among the tiny town's eccentric residents, including a boy with no camera who dreams of being a documentary filmmaker and a famous retired actress who lives in seclusion on the outskirts of the community. Thanks to them and to her own perseverance, Foster is able to work toward her dream of making the world a better place, one cupcake at a time. The story is fast paced, and readers will be rooting for likable and gutsy Foster, who expresses her views on life in baking metaphors. The quirky residents of Culpepper are equally believable and appealing. Youngsters will find this story tastier than a batch of Foster's triple chocolate cupcakes.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
Kirkus Reviews

When a domestic relationship turns abusive, 12-year-old Foster McKee and her mother flee Memphis, stowing whatever they can carry in their Chevy, including Foster's treasured baking supplies and a few fresh-baked muffins for the road. Upon stumbling into the small town of Culpepper, W.Va., Foster's baking talents win the hearts of the townspeople, among whom number such quirky and colorful personalities as Angry Wayne, Perseverance Wilson and Miss Charleena, a retired—but still very dramatic—Hollywood star. Woven throughout her baking adventures is Foster's dream to be the Food Network's first kid host of a cooking show, and silly scenes of Foster hamming it up for an imaginary camera punctuate the text. Amid this agreeable foolishness, heavy issues of domestic violence, mental illness, illiteracy and the pain of the recent economic downturn make themselves felt. Bauer expertly balances these grim realities with Foster's ebullient personality and spunk, which could convince anyone that she will be able "make the world a better place one cupcake at a time."(Fiction. 10-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670012824
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
02/03/2011
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
411,003
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
540L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Joan Bauer is the author of nine previous novels for young readers, among them the Newbery Honor Book, Hope Was Here, and the Los Angeles Times Prize winner, Rules of the Road.  She has also twice received the Christopher Award, as well as the Schneider Family Book Award and the Golden Kite Award. Joan Bauer lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Close to Famous 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 136 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book has a ton of heart and very original characters... two thumbs up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good! COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!
Olivia Spinella More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book. One of the best i have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg i loved this book. Its so insparatioal And i love to cook and well its in me becuz my dad waz a cheff and did all sorts of things. I love this book eveyone should read it.
Kaitlyn Conroy More than 1 year ago
I couldnt put it down. It is a gr8 book. You will love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When you read this book go to cupcaketopia and just enjoy!Best book ever read!By far!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite book everrr !!!!!!! Worth every penny !!!!!!!!!! Buyyy it now !!!!!!!! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book its great i did a book report on it. This book even gives you reciepes i love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was such a good book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This books has lots of heart. The characters, the setting, and the storyline, are all fabulous! You will find yourself loving some characters and not liking some. This book makes you stop and think about life. It encourages you to follow your dreams. That might sound sappy, I know, but this book is anything but sappy, believe me. The characters seem so real, you feel like you should be able to look them up and give them a call. By the time you're done with this book you'll want to do just that because you'll feel like you've known them your whole life and you just want to talk about everything that's happened! Everything isn't happy and everyone isn't always smiling. This book has real life situations ( okay, maybe some that aren't so real life too. ) and I love seeing how the characters deal and cope with them. Overall, I think that this book is wonderful. I highly recommend this book! Go on, get it from the library, buy it, borrow it from someone, I don't care what you do ( as long as you don't steal it ) just read this book!! I know you're dying to!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it was amazing! It tells an inspiring story of a little girl growing up in a small town with big dreams :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like how they eached worked out their problems together
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best! Foster has a great personality! This book affected me and i began to read more books like this and i fell in love with these books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg this book is sooooo good one day i was on page 73 and then at the end of the day i was on page 161 the book is sooo good u cant put it down i receccomend getting this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book:):):):):). I wish it would never end:( If you are in a tough time you will conect more with this book . It is about a time when a girl name foster has to drop everthing a never return home. But then evrthing starts to lighting up. And baking takes plae an help he lot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg this book is perfect for me cuz i luv to bake and my dream is to become a pastry chef. I luv this bok. Very sweet and funny. Anybody should luv it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a sweet and hopeful sttory that i found very interesting. I definetley reccomend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the book everybody has been waiting for! This is the book to read for 2014. It has something fir everyone. Be brave and give it a shot!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was such a great one!!!! I could not put it down and i reccomend it to anyone ages 10-13
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. The one thing it has that compounds thiz book into one is the passionate characters. Not one character in a book doesn't have pasion in them. Love books. Forever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so wonderful and encouraged me to follow my dreams and bake!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really!!!!! Some people acutually want to READ the book, not have it ruined by stupid people!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book just to tell everyone from missouri one of the mark twain award nomines is going to be ............... Close to Famous:) awesome awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sooo amazing. In here theres cookin' tips an i got 'nother one. When yur makin' cupcakes, muffins, whaterva', somtimes you dont make 'nof batta or ya only wana' make a few. Just fill ya empty cups with wata' bout' half way. This way 'er muffin tins dont get burned up. Just keep calm 'n bake on.