The Stars of Summer

331p. Putnam. May 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399170690; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698173675.
Gr 4–6—The young gourmand and secret food critic for the New York Standard is back. Summer has arrived and it's Gladys's 12th birthday. As a birthday gift, Gladys's rich, snobbish friend Charissa offers her a position as a counselor-in-training (CIT) at the exclusive day camp run by her parents. At the camp, Gladys is assigned to work in the kitchen, which would have been wonderful except that she and the cook have opposing ideas about what makes a good lunch—with hilarious results. The camp also has a celebrity CIT, 12-year-old best-selling author Hamilton Herbertson. He's just a loud-mouthed know-it-all to Gladys, although a cute one, until he begins to let her see another side of him. There's also a very strange assignment for the Standard from Gladys' editor who has just gone on an extended vacation and can't be reached. Gladys's job is to find the best hot dog in the five boroughs. Could a jealous rival restaurant critic have something to do with this? Though a sequel to All Four Stars (2014), this book stands on its own. The main characters are maturing and becoming multidimensional. The author delivers the subtle message that people are not always what they seem at first.
VERDICT Give this one to foodies as well as readers looking for a fun summer tale.

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