Almost Famous

David Getz, Author
David Getz, Author Henry Holt & Company $13.95 (182p) ISBN 978-0-8050-1940-7
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Paperback - 182 pages - 978-0-8050-3464-6
Prebound-Glued - 192 pages - 978-0-613-06366-1
Prebound-Glued - 978-0-7807-5422-5
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Maxine, age 10, adores her five-year-old brother, whose heart murmur requires dreaded check-ups. Determined to invent something to help him, the girl embarks on several almost-successful projects. She decides that an appearance on Phil Donahue's TV show would bring acclaim and respect for her efforts, and conducts a fruitless phone-and-letter campaign to the celebrity's office. Then an application for the Inventions of Children Contest arrives in the mail. She believes it's from Phil Donahue and feels ``almost famous,'' but the rule about accepting only partnered contestants presents a problem for the newly transferred (and as yet friendless) girl. Getz ( Thin Air ) writes poignantly of the fears cast by a child's heart condition, but the thin story line is stretched too far. The (tiresome) emphasis on Donahue seems inappropriate in a children's story, and the dialogue and narrative exhibit a self-consciously cute quality (``Maybe I'm almost famous on another planet''). Maxine's spirited ambition, however, may hearten readers and convey to them the tenacity needed in pursuing goals. Ages 9-12. (Dec.)
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