Greenwald, Tommy. Pete Milano's Guide to Being a Movie Star
February 16th 2016 by Roaring Brook Press
E ARC From Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Pete is a bit of a goof, and after he runs off from a girl's mother after hiding the girl's pom poms (just for fun!), he ducks into a coffee shop. There, he impresses a movie agent, who gives him her card and tells him to have his parents contact her, because her company is casting a film that will shoot nearby. Pete's parents run an Italian restaurant that isn't doing particularly well, and are leery about this opportunity. Pete shows up at the auditions and manages to captivate the high powered Shelden Felden, and gets the part. He has to spend half of the day at school, and half shooting, so his time is quickly taken up with memorizing lines, getting homework done, and trying to keep everything together. Everyone wants to be his friend, but he has no time.
It doesn't help that Pete's girlfriend, Mireli, is jealous of him working with starlet Shana Fox. When Shana stages a kiss with Pete for a publicity shot (without warning him!), Mireli sees it and gets angry. When Pete suggests that some of his classmates get hired to be extras on the film, they suddenly understand how Pete's life really involves a lot more work than glamour.
Greenwald uses his knowledge of the performing arts industry to extremely good effect in this companion to his Charlie Joe Jackson books. Many middle grade readers fantasize about being in films, and this is a great, nitty gritty explanation of what goes on during filming! Pete is an ordinary kid with ordinary challenges who gets in just a bit over his head, and the reactions of the other students at his school are perfect.
Fans of this series, or readers who want humorous books, will cheer on Pete as he attempts to keep both his employers and his class mates happy with him and enjoy his wild ride as he grapples with starting an acting career.