Taylor, Greg. The Girl Who Became a Beatle.
Regina Bloomsbury has a Beatles tribute band called the Caverns. They are working hard to get gigs, but not having any luck. They are also experiencing some internal tensions that threaten to break up the group. When Regina wishes that her group could be more famous than the Beatles, she wakes up one day to find out that the Beatles never existed, but the Caverns have the Beatles catalog and have become famous playing all of the songs. They are on tour in LA, where Regina's tv star boyfriend lives. Is fame really what Regina wanted, or is there a more complex solution to her desires that includes her estranged mother, her friends, and a different fate for her band?
Strengths: Really intriguing premise for a book, and well-executed, with understandable motivations and likely reactions to fame. Great cover, although how my faux hawk wearing son ended up on the cover, I can't guess!
Weaknesses: Not sure of audience on this one. Picky Reader ADORES The Beatles and would not read this because the premise was that they did not exist. While appropriate for middle school, had the philosophical bent of a high school book. This author's Killer Pizza does okay, mainly because of the clever cover. And, Picky Reader is about three chapters into this and hasn't complained yet.
Zadoff, Allen. Hungry.
Mr. Zadoff's Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have has been very popular in my library, engaging even my most reluctant readers. We are looking forward to My Life-- The Theater, and Other Tragedies, which sadly does not come out until May 10! Hungry is not a book for teens; it is a very personal account of Mr. Zadoff's food addiction, and his story of how he managed to overcome his addiction and regain control of his life. Interestingly, the copy I borrowed came from the Kettering College of Medical Arts, and I think this would be an excellent book for doctors working with people struggling with weight issues. I do hope that Mr. Zadoff continues to write for teen boys, since he has quite a knack for it.