The inside scoop on the star of the runaway TV hit "Dawson's Creek" is given in a new, full-color, magazine-format biography.
Children's Literature - Children's LiteratureJames Van Der Beek is the latest in a series of "Scene" paperbacks that promise to be the "ultimate celebrity resource." It is, in fact, more specifically for young teens who want to read about their favorite stars, in this case, one of the actors in the popular teen TV drama, Dawson's Creek. It includes what most adults would expect in such a publication, and what most teens would hope for--details of how he got his start in acting and what it is like to be such an overnight star. Also personal details are included such as his zodiac sign and birthday, essential information to the teenage girl who has a crush on him. Let the reader note, that the details were not authorized nor endorsed by Van Der Beek. "Scene" reads like a slick teen magazine, while not moving into the inappropriate, scandal, gossip talk and, in fact, remaining fairly harmless to the reader. The slick photos of Van Der Beek and his co-stars will invite some teenager to read, who might otherwise not! 1999, Aladdin Paperbacks, Ages 12 up, $6.99. Reviewer: Kathleen OroszChildren's Literature
VOYA - Sarah FlowersEach title from the Scene series, published monthly, is essentially a fan magazine-each focusing on an individual performer popular with young people. Full-color photos are on every page, including several full-page pictures, and one double-page center spread. Each contains a "low-down" page in the best fan mag tradition: here's where readers learn about their hero's favorite movie, favorite pizza topping, and worst date. The main text is a summary of the star's life and career. A fold-out page in the back contains "The Scene Connection," a kind of flowchart connecting all of today's hot stars with one another via their movies, TV shows, and so forth-a sort of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon for the younger set. I showed these four volumes to a number of people, including librarians and kids. Kid reaction, both male and female, was enthusiastic, especially among the fourth through ninth graders. Several younger ones camped out at the reference desk while they were on display there, devouring every page. One older teen turned up his nose when I showed them to him, but then said, "Oh, wait...Jennifer Love Hewitt...let me see that one." The librarians unanimously agreed that these titles would be wonderful as incentive awards or Summer Reading Club prizes, but not one would be willing to put them in the collection. As one said, "It's the kind of thing you buy for your teenage daughter, so she can cut out the pictures and put them in her room." Indeed, if these books lasted a week in a circulating collection without being stolen or destroyed, I would be amazed. Illus. Photos. Charts. Note: This review was written and published to address four titles-Brandy, Jennifer Love Hewitt, James Van Der Beek and Matt Damon. VOYA Codes: 3Q 5P M J (Readable without serious defects, Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
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