MIDDLE GRADE BOOK REVIEW: Starring Jules (as herself) by Beth Ain

by Beth Ain, illustrated by Anne Keenan Higgins
Scholastic Press, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-545-44352-4
Grades 2-5
Middle Grade Contemporary
Reviewed from purchased copy.


Lights! Camera! Action! A hilarious chapter book debut from a fabulous new talent!

Things to Know About Me

by Jules Bloom

1. I am a scrambled-eggs-and-chocolate-milk type person.

2. I have an audition for a TV commercial (which would be great if I were a tall-icy-drink type person.)

3. I am in between best friends right now.

4. I am worried that the audition will be a disaster. (See #1 and #3!)

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....


I'm always on the lookout for fun early chapter books that I can recommend to readers.  Starring Jules is just such a book. Delightful characters? Check. Interesting plot? Check.  Appealing setting? Check.  Jules reminds me a great deal of some other great early chapter book characters: Clementine, Judy Moody, Junie B., etc. Yet she is also unique in her love of making up and singing jingles. I like the fact that despite her entrance into the acting world, she is still very much a kid with a kid's worries and interests.  Her conflict with her former best friend Charlotte rang true for me, maybe because I experienced something similar with my best friend, simply growing into different interests.  I liked that a good chunk of the problem revolves around miscommunication (does that sound like real life or what?!). I also had to laugh at Jules family life, her creative mother and supportive father. I appreciate books that show positive examples of family life and the ups and downs of friendship.  Jules interest in becoming friends with the new girl, Elinor is balanced by her fear of being hurt again and it leads her to do things she ends up regretting.  Overall, I'd say this is a great new series and I very much look forward to reading more about Jules and her family and friends.


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