The Allegra Biscotti Collection

Olivia Bennett, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $8.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-4022-4391-2
Emma, the affable protagonist of this effervescent series launch, faces familiar eighth-grade quandaries. Her best friend is cozying up to superficial popular girls, one of whom has Emma's crush in her sights. Her grades are plummeting, and her mother constantly nags her to study more. It's what Emma is focusing on rather than schoolwork that lifts the novel from being standard middle-grade fare. A talented fashion designer and seamstress, Emma spends after-school hours sketching and sewing at her father's lace company. When a high-profile fashion editor is captivated by Emma's designs, Emma, worried she won't be taken seriously, passes them off as the work of the fictitious Allegra Biscotti. The ruse quickly spins out of control: the editor touts Allegra as a designer to watch and insists that she create—on a tight deadline—three original designs to showcase in her magazine. Despite the improbable premise, credible characterizations and dialogue keep the novel real. For Project Runway aspirants, Bennett slips in detailed descriptions of the teens' outfits and Emma's designs, which appear in spot art. Ages 8–12. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/18/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4022-4393-6
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