cover image Modelland


Tyra Banks. Delacorte, $17.99 (576p) ISBN 978-0-385-74059-3

Supermodel Banks makes her YA debut with a campy and warped take on the world of modeling, a pastiche influenced by everyone from Cresswell to Dahl and Rowling. On an alternate Earth (countries have names like “Didgeridoo” and “Cappuccina”), modeling is both an obsession and a magical art, and only a handful are chosen each year to attend Modelland and train to be an elite “Intoxibella.” Tookie De La Crème, 15, has “multiple personality disorder” hair and emotionally abusive parents; generally invisible to her classmates, Tookie assumes she won’t get picked. Much to her shock, she’s chosen (by a Scout who is actually famed supermodel Ci~L) and attends the academy with new friends (and fellow outcasts) Shiraz, Dylan, and Ross. Banks throws a nonstop barrage of surrealism and wackiness at her characters: the male model academy is “Bestosterone”; Golden Ticket–like items called “SM-IZEs”—one of many winks to Top Model fans—help girls get into Modelland, etc. And if the resulting novel is overlong, the combination of absurdity, social commentary, and familiar tropes makes it an enjoyable guilty pleasure. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)