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Close to Famous [NOOK Book]

Overview

A novel full of heart, humor, and charm from Newbery Honor winner Joan Bauer!

When twelve-year-old Foster and her mother land in the tiny town of Culpepper, they don't know what to expect. But folks quickly warm to the woman with the great voice and the girl who can bake like nobody's business. Soon Foster - who dreams of having her own cooking show one day - lands herself a gig baking for the local coffee shop, and gets herself some ...
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Close to Famous

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Overview

A novel full of heart, humor, and charm from Newbery Honor winner Joan Bauer!

When twelve-year-old Foster and her mother land in the tiny town of Culpepper, they don't know what to expect. But folks quickly warm to the woman with the great voice and the girl who can bake like nobody's business. Soon Foster - who dreams of having her own cooking show one day - lands herself a gig baking for the local coffee shop, and gets herself some much-needed help in overcoming her biggest challenge - learning to read . . . just as Foster and Mama start to feel at ease, their past catches up to them. Thanks to the folks in Culpepper, though Foster and her mama find the strength to put their troubles behind them for good.

Winner of the 2012 Schneider Family Middle School Book Award

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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: 9781101513163
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/3/2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 86,725
  • Age range: 10 years
  • File size: 300 KB

Meet the Author

July 12, 1951 - "I was born at eleven A.M., a most reasonable time, my mother often said, and when the nurse put me in my mother's arms for the first time I had both a nasty case of the hiccups and no discernible forehead (it's since grown in). I've always believed in comic entrances.



"As I grew up in River Forest, Illinois in the 1950's I seem to remember an early fascination with things that were funny. I thought that people who could make other people laugh were terribly fortunate. While my friends made their career plans, declaring they would become doctors, nurses, and lawyers, inwardly, I knew that I wanted to be involved somehow in comedy. This, however, was a difficult concept to get across in first grade. But I had a mother with a great comic sense (she was a high school English teacher) and a grandmother who was a funny professional storytellerso I figured the right genes were in there somewhere, although I didn't always laugh at what my friends laughed at and they rarely giggled at my jokes. That, and the fact that I was overweight and very tall, all made me feel quite different when I was growing upa bit like a water buffalo at a tea party.



"My grandmother, who I called Nana, had the biggest influence on me creatively. She taught me the importance of stories and laughter. She never said, 'Now I'm going to tell you a funny story', she'd just tell a story, and the humor would naturally flow from it because of who she was and how she and her characters saw the world. She showed me the difference between derisive laughter that hurts others and laughter that comes from the heart. She showed me, too, that stories help us understand ourselves at a deep level. She was a keen observer of people.



"I kept a diary as a child, was always penning stories and poems. I played the flute heartily, taught myself the guitar, and wrote folk songs. For years I wanted to be a comedienne, then a comedy writer. I was a voracious reader, too, and can still remember the dark wood and the green leather chairs of the River Forest Public Library, can hear my shoes tapping on the stairs going down to the children's room, can feel my fingers sliding across rows and rows of books, looking through the card catalogues that seemed to house everything that anyone would ever need to know about in the entire world. My parents divorced when I was eight years old, and I was devastated at the loss of my father. I pull from that memory regularly as a writer. Every book I have written so far has dealt with complex father issues of one kind or another. My father was an alcoholic and the pain of that was a shadow that followed me for years. I attempted to address that pain in Rules of the Road. It was a very healing book for me. I didn't understand it at the time, but I was living out the theme that I try to carry into all of my writing: adversity, if we let it, will make us stronger.



"In my twenties, I had a successful career in sales and advertising with the Chicago Tribune, McGraw-Hill, and Parade Magazine. I met my husband Evan, a computer engineer, while I was on vacation. Our courtship was simple. He asked me to dance; I said no. We got married five months later in August, 1981. But I was not happy in advertising sales, and I had a few ulcers to prove it. With Evan's loving support, I decided to try my hand at professional writing. I wish I could say that everything started falling into place, but it was a slow, slow buildwriting newspaper and magazine articles for not much money. My daughter Jean was born in July of 82. She had the soul of a writer even as a baby. I can remember sitting at my typewriter (I didn't have a computer back then) writing away with Jean on a blanket on the floor next to me. If my writing was bad that day, I'd tear that page out of the typewriter and hand it to her. 'Bad paper,' I'd say and Jean would rip the paper in shreds with her little hands.



"I had moved from journalism to screenwriting when one of the biggest challenges of my life occurred. I was in a serious auto accident which injured my neck and back severely and required neurosurgery. It was a long road back to wholeness, but during that time I wrote Squashed, my first young adult novel. The humor in that story kept me going. Over the years, I have come to understand how deeply I need to laugh. It's like oxygen to me. My best times as a writer are when I'm working on a book and laughing while I'm writing. Then I know I've got something."


Joan's first novel, Squashed, won the Delacorte Prize for a First Young Adult Novel. Five novels for young adult readers have followed: Thwonk, Sticks, Rules of the Road (LA Times Book Prize and Golden Kite), Backwater and Hope was Here (Newbery Honor Medal).



Joan lives in Darien, CT with her husband and daughter.



Copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.















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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 127 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(105)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 129 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Fantastic

    So good! COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!

    21 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 4, 2011

    Very good book!

    This was an amazing book. One of the best i have ever read.

    20 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Great book!!!!!

    this book has a ton of heart and very original characters... two thumbs up!

    18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 19, 2011

    Cool

    I couldnt put it down. It is a gr8 book. You will love it

    17 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Headline

    My favorite book everrr !!!!!!! Worth every penny !!!!!!!!!! Buyyy it now !!!!!!!! :D

    15 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 5, 2012

    Awesome

    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.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Amazing

    When you read this book go to cupcaketopia and just enjoy!Best book ever read!By far!

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 25, 2011

    M

    I love this book its great i did a book report on it. This book even gives you reciepes i love this book

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Love it

    Great book

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 29, 2011

    AWESOME!!!!

    This was such a good book!

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 23, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This books has lots of heart. The characters, the setting, and t

    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!!

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 6, 2012

    An

    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.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Close to Famous

    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 :)

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 12, 2012

    It id awsomd

    I like how they eached worked out their problems together

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 13, 2013

    AWESOME!!!

    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!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Awesomw book

    LUV IT!!!!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Best Book Ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 15, 2013

    SPOILER ALERT

    SPOILER ALERT THE GIRL IN THE BOOK CANT READ AND THE SCARY ELVIS DUDE COMES BACK AND HE GOES TO THE JAIL THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO GIVE JOBS TO THE COMMUNIY AND HER MOM FINALLY GETS HER SPOTLIGT AND IS LIKE A FAMOUS SINGER AND THE GIRL BAKES CUPCAKES FOR AN ESCAPED GUY FROM JAIL AND THEN HE GOES BACK TO JAIL, AND,AND, THATS ALL I GOT

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Awesome awesome awesome book

    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

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Tips fer' yals

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 129 Customer Reviews

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