Starring Jules (as herself) by Beth Ain

Jules doesn’t want to ruin THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME, and she’s willing to turn to anyone for help–even her know-it-all ex-best friend! If only that lovely new girl in class would turn out to be the new best friend of her dreams, maybe, just maybe, Jules will be ready for her close-up


To be released March 2013

First, big thanks to Scholastic for the ARC of this hilarious easy chapter book. Best suited for children ages 7-10, this book has wide appeal.  Jules is one unique kid with a huge dislike of the color orange. Her mother calls her ‘wacky’ and her ex best friend describes her as ‘the anti-lip-gloss-queen-of –the-worms’.  I simply adored the character of Jules, especially her love of writing lists.  Some of her list titles include: ‘things I would change about my room’, and ‘things to do before I turn eight’.  Sigh… I wish my lists still looked like that!

The interesting chapter titles hint to readers what’s in store for Jules.  My favourite chapter title is ‘Take Six: Promising Playdates, Spaghetti with Peanut Butter and Other distractions’.  Her lists, actions and worries are all very realistic for a girl her age.  Although readers may not be able to relate to her wish for stardom, they will understand her friendship struggles.

The black and white drawings throughout were a fun addition.  Since this was an ARC, only a couple were included but look for more images in the published version.  Lastly, as a librarian, I applaud Ain for introducing readers to new vocabulary. Jules learns the meaning of argyle, pizzazz, snazzy, and improvise.  The learning of new words was done in a natural way and I’m sure kids will positively respond to this way of learning (like Fancy Nancy).

CHA-CHA-CHA (because it’s always a good idea).

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