The Fizzywhiz Kid

Maiya Williams, Author . Abrams/Amulet $16.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-8109-8347-2

This effervescent comedy offers a behind-the-scenes peek at the entertainment industry through the eyes of a likable outsider, 12-year-old Mitch Mathis. Accustomed to being the new kid, Mitch violates his own cardinal rule—“DON'T STAND OUT”—when he moves to Hollywood with his parents, attends a cattle-call audition for a soda commercial, and catapults to stardom with the signature line, “You like bubbles?” Mitch, who never watches TV, hasn't seen Star Wars , and can “juggle, ride a unicycle, play piano and guitar, and [knows] sign language,” gleans industry knowledge from new, larger-than-life friends who boast actor, agent, and screenwriter parents. Mitch's recurring lists keep the pace quick and offer insight into his character (“No cockroach costumes” is at the top of his list of “Rules for Parent Presentations,” after his entomologist father makes a cringe-inducing appearance in his classroom) as well as information about the industry. Williams (The Hour of the Outlaw ) spotlights the unglamorous side of show business, too, as Mitch becomes believably self-involved, comes to his senses, and directs an ingenious escape to normalcy. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Children's
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