Party Line #1/Allie's

Carrie Austen, Author
Carrie Austen, Author Berkley Publishing Group $2.75 (0p) ISBN 978-0-425-12047-7
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Seventh-grader Allison Gray idolizes Vermilion, a Madonna-like rock star whose concert at a local college is two weeks away. But gathering $18 for a ticket won't be easy; even Allison's best friend Becky is low on funds. When a birthday party for Allison's little brother goes awry, Allison, Becky and their friends save the day by entertaining the younger children. Hearing of their newfound ability, a parent hires the girls, and the Party Line is born. Although Allison's sweetness is appealing, and her shyness and nervous stammering are liabilities recognizable to many youngsters, Austen's dialogue borders on the syrupy. The story's business-launching aspect is similar to Judie Angell's Leave the Cooking to Me , down to the undercharging of an initial client. Based on less-than-favorable impressions created by this slight story, future titles in this new series may well hold few surprises. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
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