Stars So Sweet

288p. (All Four Stars: Bk. 3). Putnam. Jul. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781101996485.
Gr 4–6—Foodie Gladys Gatsby has more on her plate than she can handle in this third installment of her adventures. Picking up where Stars of Summer left off, this title sees Gladys entering middle school along with many students from other schools, some friendly, some definitely not. She feels guilty about keeping her job as a restaurant critic for a large newspaper secret from her parents (and evading her editor, who still doesn't know she is only 12 years old). Aunt Lydia has arrived from Paris after being fired from her restaurant job. Plus, Gladys's friend from camp, Hamilton Herbertson, the famous tween author, hasn't contacted her like he promised he would. Funds are tight for extracurricular activities at school, so the clubs are looking for ways to earn money. Naturally, Gladys suggests a bake sale. The first one is so popular she is overwhelmed with requests for more. She has spread herself too thin and is stressed. Desperate for help with her problems, she seeks out her favorite former teacher. Though Gladys is the only fully fleshed-out character, this is nonetheless an enjoyable entry in a fine series.
VERDICT This book will appeal to a wider audience than others in the series, as it is less about evaluating restaurants and food and more about finding one's place and learning how to deal with problems. It can easily be enjoyed as a stand-alone read.

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