Close to Famous
By Joan Bauer
Published by Penguin Group, 2012
272 pages (paperback)
A novel full of heart, humor, and charm from Newbery Honor winner Joan Bauer!
When twelve-year-old Foster and her mother land in the tiny town of Culpepper, they don't know what to expect. But folks quickly warm to the woman with the great voice and the girl who can bake like nobody's business. Soon Foster - who dreams of having her own cooking show one day - lands herself a gig baking for the local coffee shop, and gets herself some much-needed help in overcoming her biggest challenge - learning to read . . . just as Foster and Mama start to feel at ease, their past catches up to them. Thanks to the folks in Culpepper, though Foster and her mama find the strength to put their troubles behind them for good.
This is a cute and sweet story (literally… Foster’s baked goods sound yummy) that has good insight into how friends and a community can work together to help one another. Ideally, I would have liked the author to extend the story a bit further and get into the “what happens after everything is fixed for now”, but it is also nice that she left it up to the readers’ imaginations.