SERIES MADE SIMPLE

Shawn Mendes: Pop Star

. 9781503819979. ea vol: 24p. (Superstar Stories). further reading. glossary. index. notes. photos. websites. The Child's World. Aug. 2017. lib. ed. $27.07.
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Gr 3–6—Each of these breezy introductions to a current celebrity opens with a "Fast Facts" section, including trivia, before moving on to chronological narrative. The texts include some intriguing and inspirational facts about their subjects. For example, Jennifer Lawrence was discovered by a talent scout during a family visit to New York City, and Shawn Mendes gained 100,000 followers after posting a short clip of a Justin Bieber cover on Vine. Text blocks are broken up with mostly glamour photos and brief but reflective quotations, though they are offered without context. Rowan Blanchard, for example, wants to play roles that are "layered and intricate and complicated." Description can be vague at times, and lives are presented uncritically and with little perspective. The titles all close with very brief source notes and references to some print materials and a site with curated websites.
VERDICT This focus on young success stories is appealing; however, as research materials these selections are adequate but relatively thin.
Each entertainer's superficially sketched biography is presented in three or four brief chapters punctuated with publicity photographs and sidebars with quotes from the subject. A page of basic background facts precedes a simple narrative covering early breaks in the field, successful milestones, and present-day stardom. "Think About It" questions are appended. There are four other fall 2017 titles in this series. Reading list. Glos., ind.

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