Catherine Hapka, Author . S&S/Aladdin $4.99 (138p) ISBN 978-0-689-86787-3

Featuring a glitzy photo of a smiling blond teenager with lush locks, the cover of this debut novel in the Star Power series may well snag the attention of preteens. And Hapka's (the Mucha Lucha series) peppy (if clunky) narrative will likely keep them turning the pages as a mini-melodrama unfolds. Fresh from her "planetwide hit" first album (called Star Power ), 14-year-old Star is a superstar singer about to launch her first world tour for her second album, Supernova . The unassuming gal has lived in a small Pennsylvania town with her grandmother since her parents and baby brother disappeared after embarking on a "fateful boat trip" two years earlier. Excited but apprehensive about the tour, Star, her manager, bodyguard, tutor and hair and makeup artist all become puzzled by a string of mishaps: the band receives the wrong music (luckily, "Star had been born with an unfailing ear for pitch, so before long the musicians were able to pick up the notes she was humming"), backup dancers fail to show up at rehearsal, her entourage's hotel reservations in London are mysteriously cancelled and—most devastatingly of all—Star's beloved pug disappears. Readers will clue in to who's responsible for the sabotage long before Star and her gang do—but the star-studded hoopla (complete with penthouse Manhattan apartment, screaming fans and omnipresent paparazzi) will appeal to kids who like their reading lite and bouncy. Star will land in the spotlight again in Always Dreamin' (-86788-3 ), due out the same month. Ages 9-13. (May )

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Open Ebook - 144 pages - 978-1-4391-1442-1
Prebound-Glued - 136 pages - 978-1-4176-2844-5
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