Close to Famous
By Joan Bauer
Viking, 2011. 250 pgs. Middle grade/Teen fiction
Twelve-year-old Foster and her mother hightail it out of Memphis when Huck, Foster's mom's Elvis-impersonator boyfriend, gets violent. They wind up in Culpepper, West Virginia where Foster works toward her dream of being a famous baker and conquering the world one cupcake at a time. Besides selling cupcakes--and practicing for the TV show she'd like to have on the Food Network someday, she also becomes involved in the town, making friends with Macon, who wants to make documentaries and who works for Miss Charleena, a former Hollywood star hiding out after a painful divorce, and Garland, a runner, whose mother, aptly named Perseverance, is determined to keep the local church from being sold.
I love Joan Bauer! I love her books, and I was delighted by her newest offering. This book features an unforgettable cast of characters; I loved them all (except horrible Huck, of course.) Foster's struggles are moving and inspiring, and her cupcakes sound delicious! This book made me laugh out loud in places, tugged at my heart in others, and left me with a big smile on my face. The only complaint I have is that now I'll have to wait a couple of years for Bauer to publish another book!