cover image The Upside of Ordinary

The Upside of Ordinary

Susan Lubner. Holiday House, $16.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-8234-2417-7

Jermaine is determined to be famous, but her Maine town is so far from Hollywood that movie stardom isn't likely, nor is becoming a supermodel ("Let's face it, how many supermodels can you think of that have frizzy brown hair and a palate extender?"). So the 11-year-old opts to create a reality TV show based on her family. Yet after filming her mother cleaning a chicken, her father plunging a toilet, and her sister burning microwave popcorn, Jermaine decides her family is too ordinary for TV. Her solution? She'll orchestrate the drama. In amusing, ill-fated scenarios, Jermaine botches a friend's haircut while filming a makeover and sends her arachnophobic mother screeching out of the house by setting loose a tarantula. In an easygoing story about following one's dreams and appreciating what one has, debut novelist Lubner (whose picture books include A Horse's Tale: A Colonial Williamsburg Adventure) balances well-staged comedy with Jermaine's thoughtful musings on her family's eccentricities, which lead her to recognize that "ordinary" is relative. Ages 8%E2%80%9312. (Sept.)