cover image Hot Dog Girl

Hot Dog Girl

Jennifer Dugan. Putnam, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-51625-5

Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to make the most of her pre–senior year summer. Never mind that it’s the last summer open for local amusement park Magic Castle Playland (the one place Lou feels safe and the first place she went to when her mother left). Or that she’s been cast as the park’s wandering hot dog for the second year in a row. Or that Nick Mulholland, the cute diving pirate, is dating the park’s literal princess instead of Lou, even after the moment they shared in a rainstorm the previous summer. Amid it all, Lou persuades her best friend, smart, beautiful Seeley Jendron, to be her fake girlfriend, hoping to spark jealousy in Nick and convince him to date her. And she hopes to get the town to raise money to save the park along the way. Easy, right? Relatable and funny, Dugan’s character dialogue and voice capture the awkward/messy/magical summer and keep both the characters and plot real and winning throughout this amusement park ride. Ages 12–up. [em]Agent: Brooks Sherman, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (Apr.) [/em]