cover image Starring Jules (as Herself)

Starring Jules (as Herself)

Beth Ain, illus. by Anne Keenan Higgins. Scholastic Press, $14.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-545-44352-4

Vivacious Jules Bloom, with her singular wardrobe and all-around flair for the dramatic, hopes to accomplish a great deal before she turns eight, including finding a new best friend, since she’s on the outs with her former bestie, Charlotte. When a casting director invites Jules to audition for a mouthwash commercial, Jules throws herself into preparing for the perfect audition. Setbacks arise—the flavor of the mouthwash, orange, is loathsome to Jules (“Orange anything reminds me of throw up, partly because I threw up in a taxicab after eating... orange sherbet”)—and Charlotte keeps interfering with Jules’s efforts to befriend Elinor, the new girl from London. Ain (The Revolution of Sabine) gives Jules a truly funny narrative voice; her personality, misunderstandings, and tendency to overthink things are the driving force behind the story, though Jules’s relationship with her parents and brother is also a standout. Fans of Judy Moody, Clementine, and other iconoclastic heroines will love getting to know Jules and look forward to the next book in this planned series. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 7–10. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Mar.)