Blowout

Taylor Morris, Penguin/Grosset & Dunlap, $6.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-448-45526-6
On her 13th birthday, Mickey gets her wish: a part-time job at her mother's hair salon, Hello, Gorgeous!—also the name of the series that opens with this snappy novel. The shy, ingenuous narrator hopes that the gig will help her come out of her "turtlelike shell," and several of Mickey's friend-winning tactics pay off. She ingratiates herself to schoolmates by giving them a heads-up about a pop quiz she overhears their teacher—a salon client—talking about, and she convinces the reluctant mother of a classmate to buy her daughter a cellphone. Yet Mickey's mission veers onto shady turf when she steals nail polish from the salon to give to two popular girls and, when one asks if she's heard anything "juicy" at work, Mickey spreads a false, career-damaging rumor about a stylist. Morris (Total Knockout) addresses the issue of self-esteem poignantly and effectively, and shapes persuasive relationships, notably Mickey's with her tough but fair mother and with her longtime best friend, the boy next door. This novel offers substance with its style. Available simultaneously: Foiled. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-101-51380-4
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