cover image Discovering Martha

Discovering Martha

Joanne Rocklin. MacMillan Publishing Company, $13.95 (137pp) ISBN 978-0-02-777444-3

Eleven-year-old Martha Green knows what it's like to be famous, since she starred in two TV commercials when she was five. But now, bragging about her former ``career'' has earned her a reputation as an exaggerator and a show-off. Martha's wish to be discovered is nearly granted when a guitar arrives in the mail, accompanied by an instruction manual and an offer of a free home trial period. Defying her parents, the girl secretly studies to become a singing, strumming sensation in ``six short weeks.'' Her musical proficiency is hardly astounding, but Martha is convinced that the guitar's magic has made her more friendly and responsible than ever. When the trial period ends, however, she must face the music and return her only hope for fame and fortune. Rocklin ( Jace the Ace ) poignantly captures the dreams and fears of her audience through this spunky, honest heroine. A breezy style moves the plot along swiftly without making light of the characters' emotional quandaries. Middle readers will be heartened by Martha's discovery that the ingredients for true success are found within. Ages 8-12. (Nov.)