cover image Slate Blues

Slate Blues

Sheri Cooper Sinykin / Author HarperCollins Publishers $12 (15

Reina and her best friend Nikki have a critical goal: being accepted by Sable, high priestess of the eighth grade. The startling discovery that heavy metal superstar Slate is Reina's estranged aunt could pave the way toward instant popularity, providing that Slate/Aunt Amanda will appear at a fundraiser Sable is chairing. Charismatic Slate agrees, but Sable admits only Reina and not Nikki into her select group. Sinykin ( The Next Thing to Strangers ) merely updates a tired story line containing the standard cliches: the mean-spirited ``in group,'' the hurt excluded friend, the overdetermined moment of disillusionment and the protagonist ultimately learning that ``she should never have risked a real friendship for a bunch of fake ones. It's not worth it.'' Ages 10-up. (May)