cover image The Manny

The Manny

Sarah L. Thomson. Dutton Books, $15.99 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-525-47413-5

Thompson (The Dragon's Son) introduces 16-year-old Justin Blakewell, who is spending the summer in the Hamptons taking care of a 4-year-old. He's a male nanny or, as he terms it, ""manny,"" with a mission: Not only does he want to meet girls, but living among the rich is ""a rehearsal"" for his planned wealthy future. The set-up may be predictable (Justin meets two female nannies right away: Serafina is pretty and rich, Liz is less stylish and not rich), and readers will likely have no trouble guessing which one he will fall for, but Justin makes a likable narrator who is good with his young charge. However, the teen gets into plenty of silly scrapes; he charges an expensive shirt against his mother's credit card guidelines, for instance, only to attend a party where the host spills salsa all over it. Readers will appreciate that the plotting throws in some surprises. They may even find themselves moved as Justin joins Serafina and Liz to search for a missing boy or when he reflects on his dead father (""When I look in the mirror, I wonder if he had a cowlick like mine""), but mostly this is just light, entertaining fare. Ages 12-up.