Made You Look

Made You Look

4.1 6
by Diane Roberts

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When his parents surprise Jason with a family vacation to California, he is totally excited. Not only will he get to fly, he’ll have a chance to try out for Masquerade Mania! That’s before he learns that they will be camping cross-country in a sardine can (at least that’s what the contraption looks like). Jason’s willing to do just about


When his parents surprise Jason with a family vacation to California, he is totally excited. Not only will he get to fly, he’ll have a chance to try out for Masquerade Mania! That’s before he learns that they will be camping cross-country in a sardine can (at least that’s what the contraption looks like). Jason’s willing to do just about anything to get a chance to be on Mania. But isn’t wearing pink underwear, enduring the stares of fellow campers, and putting up with his pain-in-the-neck sister above and beyond the call of duty?

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jason, the spunky Texas narrator of this boisterous first novel, is ecstatic when he learns that his parents plan to take him and his two sisters on vacation to Los Angeles. Not only will the sixth-grader be able to take his first airplane ride, but he might fulfill another dream: to appear on his favorite TV game show, Masquerade Mania. Since the producers select contestants on the basis of their "goofy costumes," Jason creates a papier-mache dinosaur head to wear to the studio. Then his father announces that instead of flying, they will drive from Texas to California, camping along the way in a "Camp'otel," which Jason's best friend, who's along on the trip, likens to a "giant sardine tin." Worthy of that endured on Chevy Chase's clan's various big-screen vacations, the family calamity that follows will elicit ample giggles from youngsters ("I wanted to take a camping trip like this when I was your age, but I never got the opportunity," Mom says. "Then why give it to me?" Jason retorts). At the first campsite, Jason is so embarrassed by the camper that he wears his dinosaur head to the shower. Since his father forgets the camper's ladder at home, they must climb up the slippery car windshield-in a downpour-to access the sleeping quarters. And, washing the family's muddy clothes in a laundromat, Jason's domestically challenged mother turns everyone's underwear pink. This light, fun fiction marks a solid start for Roberts. Ages 8-12. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Jason Percy and his family are planning a trip from Texas to California. Jason is very excited since he wants a chance to try out to be on his favorite TV show, "Masquerade Mania." A series of hilarious disasters will leave the reader laughing out loud and wanting more. Will Jason ever make it to the show? Will he be a laughing stock and be totally rejected, or will his best friend Freddy come to his rescue? The characters, dialogue, and adventures are perfectly suited for all readers in grades 4 to 6. This book should be suggested to reluctant readers as it will grab them from the start and take them right to the finish where they will ask for more. Put this one on your list of gifts to buy a child when you need a gift for a special occasion. This book needs a sequel! 2003, Delecourt Press, Ages 9 to 12.
— Kathie M. Josephs
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Sixth-grader Jason Percy and his friend Freddy love the TV game show Masquerade Mania: its hosts throw pies and make contestants jump into vats of Jell-O. When Jason's parents decide to drive from their Texas home to Los Angeles for summer vacation, they invite Freddy to go with them. With his friend as his coach, Jason hopes to get on the show and win fabulous prizes. Unfortunately, the trip west involves madcap disasters thanks to the pop-up Camp'otel that attaches to the roof of their SUV, making them the laughingstock of every campground they enter. This fast-paced first novel will be a big hit, especially with reluctant readers. The dialogue-packed story features over-the-top elements that may be too much for some readers, but they fit perfectly in this funny book.-Genevieve Gallagher, Orange County Public Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Mom always says the difference between a trip and a vacation is the quantity of dirty laundry after it’s over. A visit to Aunt Kate’s house would be considered a trip—never lasts more than two days, only one change of underwear, two max. However, traveling from Texas to California? Definitely a vacation.

Dad had been in Los Angeles all spring. But he wasn’t on vacation. His aircraft company sent him out there. One of the reasons Dad was asked to go was because he’s a brilliant engineer. And he’s a great problem solver, too. At least that’s what he tells us. His boss wanted him to work out some wrinkles in the L.A. office. It wasn’t that he hadn’t missed us, but he’d said a million times how much he liked it on the West Coast.

I was busy researching a school project on my computer when Directions Man popped up on my Buddy List.

“Hey, Dad!” I Instant Messaged him. Engineers love reading directions, so it’s the perfect name for him. “How’s it going?”

“Miss you guys,” he IM’d back.

“Same here.”

“The Pacific Ocean is awesome, Jason, and the weather is fantastic.”

“I want to see for myself,” I wrote him. Were there palm trees and movie stars on every corner? Did everyone drive a convertible? I could almost taste the salty ocean air.

“You’d love it, Mania Man,” came his answer, flying across my monitor. Everyone knows my screen name. I chose it after the greatest game show of all time, Masquerade Mania.

It’s the best. All the contestants are kids. Almost everyone in our sixth-grade class watches, especially Freddy and me. Even my parents and my pain-in-the-neck older sister, Jen, like it. It’s hilarious.

The master of ceremonies is this beautiful long-haired girl named Jasmine. Dad says she gives the show class. At the beginning of the show, she glides down a winding staircase like melting butter. She’s awesome. Her cohost is Desmond O. Now, that guy is cool. He wears this wild suit. The stripes on his pants go up and down and the circles on his jacket go across. He has a bow tie that lights up when he talks. I’m sure he’s the creative genius behind the show.

Desmond O teases the contestants in the Hot Box. He wants to confuse them so that they’ll give wrong answers to Jasmine’s trivia questions. Jasmine asks a question and the first kid to press his buzzer gets to answer. The questions are tough. It takes a real brain-o to think fast enough to get them right. After a contestant answers three questions correctly he gets a chance to Spin to Win. His spin could land him on a prize. It’s unbelievable what they give away—portable MP3 players with headphones, DVD home theater systems, video games, skateboards, televisions, great vacations, sometimes even college scholarships. Once I saw this kid win an Xbox and a year’s supply of video games and he passed out cold. I bet he was mortified when he came to. But my favorite part is when a contestant lands on a WHOOPS! That’s when the real fun begins.

If you land on a WHOOPS! Desmond O makes you do crazy stunts. Like jumping into a tub of Jell-O, or doing a funny dance while Desmond O plays his kazoo. Sometimes he forces a contestant to run an obstacle course against a ticking clock. That’s the most nerve-wracking part of all. You never know what to expect if the clock wins. Buckets of slimy spaghetti could drop from the ceiling! You could be pelted with water balloons. Three WHOOPS! and zap! You’re out of the game. You have to be careful or you could go home empty-handed and covered in chocolate syrup.

“Did you catch last night’s show?” I typed. I didn’t have to explain. Dad would know exactly what I meant.

“ ’Fraid not,” he typed back. “I was still at the office.”

“It was really cool,” I told him, wishing he were here to watch it with me like he used to. “A kid dressed up as a tube of toothpaste won a trip for four to New York City!” His costume was flipped out. He’d even carried a plastic bag filled with dental floss.

As I sat at my computer, I got this fantastic idea. I’m always getting fantastic ideas.

“Since you’re so great at working out wrinkles,” I IM’d Dad, “why don’t you work out a way for us to fly to Los Angeles, too?” I was dying to fly on a plane. And not only that, maybe I’d have a chance to get on Masquerade Mania! If that happened, I’d be a real Maniac for sure.

“Sounds good,” he IM’d back.

“Ejsy?” I typed so fast I didn’t realize my fingers were on the wrong keys.


I retyped almost as fast. “When?”


Next thing I knew, Dad was on the phone with Mom, Mom was on the Internet checking out hotel rates, I was jumping around the kitchen, and our family was California bound! Well, not exactly the whole family. My bulldog, Patches, would be checking in to the doggie motel. And Baby Millicent would probably stay at Aunt Kate’s house because Mom always says he who travels swiftest does not carry a diaper bag. Millicent is two years old. Her track record in the potty-training department leaves a lot to be desired. But sometimes Mom gets guilt pangs when she thinks one of us is not getting a fair shake. So Millicent might luck out and land on the plane with Jen and me. If that happens, I’m letting Jen take care of her. What else is a big sister good for, anyway?

From the Hardcover edition.

Meet the Author

Diane Roberts is a puppeteer who has performed in front of thousands of children. With her bubbly personality and Texan spirit, Diane is sure to wow readers everywhere she goes. This is her first novel. She lives in Fort Worth, TX.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Made You Look 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was funny and fun to read! I am a guy that dose not like reading. The beginning of the book was a little slow but the enf is great!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book but i never read it on the nook i read the book not a nok book
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