Ruby Parker Hits the Small Time

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9780007190386: Ruby Parker Hits the Small Time

Child soap-star, Ruby Parker, discovers being famous when you're a teenager isn't all it's cracked up to be. Spotty and gawky, all her fan mail is about viewers' problems - not how much they adore and fancy her! Ruby Parker has been acting in the glamorous soap, Kensington Heights, for most of her life. She is stunned when she overhears the script writers discussing whether to kill her character off, or to replace Ruby with a more beautiful actress! She has always felt like the ugly duckling compared to her stunning co-stars, but now more than ever she sees that everyone is disappointed how the cute, chubby dimpled four year old has morphed into a lumpy pimpled fourteen year old. Ruby is feeling more self-conscious than ever, and to top it all off, she discovers she's got to have her first screen kiss - with the oh-so-gorgeous Justin de Souza, the soap's hunk. What with dealing with fame on a national level, having her first ever kiss in front of cameras and dealing with everyone's jealousy at stage school, Ruby doesn't think things can get any harder. Then her parents give her the most unexpected (and worst) news yet!

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About the Author:

Rowan graduated from Hull University in 1993 then worked in bookselling for three years as the manager of an independent bookshop in London. In 1997 she moved to Random House to work as a Sales Administrator, where she eventually became Editorial Manager at Ebury Press. Her first novel, GROWING UP TWICE, was published in September 2001 and was a WHS Fresh Talent winner. Her second novel, AFTER EVER AFTER, was published August 2003.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6–9—When she was six, Ruby Parker landed a part on a popular TV soap opera. Now the 13-year-old spends summers taping the show, and in the fall she returns to a performing-arts school where other students are jealous of her career. Otherwise, she is a typical teen. She has a crush on a boy who ignores her, she giggles and schemes with her best friend, and she worries about the increasing tension between her parents. When Mum and Dad announce that they are splitting up, Ruby is devastated. With the help of friends, familiar and unexpected, she comes to terms with the change and learns more about herself in the process. The book is front-loaded with exposition, but, once established, the story clips along at a good pace. The writing is realistic; the language is suitably naive and particularly poignant when Ruby struggles to explain her feelings about the divorce. Her growth is demonstrated best in responses to fan letters sprinkled throughout the book. Early on, she tells the girls who write to her about their problems that things will be OK, and that they should talk to a trusted adult. The last letter sensitively acknowledges her pain, and she admits that although she doesn't know when or how it will go away, she trusts that it will. The happy ending isn't that everything works out the way she hopes; it's that everything works out in other ways, and she comes to terms with it.—Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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