On sale August 23, 2016
Roaring Brook Press
Source: ARC from the publisher for review purposes
ABOUT THE BOOK
In this affecting debut novel, a child actor struggles to find herself on a film set where only one thing matters: getting the money shot.
Joss Byrd is America’s most celebrated young actress, and her next project is a hot new Indie film helmed by a renowned, charismatic director. But on the set of The Locals, Joss’s life is far from glamorous. Her mother is domineering and relentless, her dyslexia makes it difficult to keep up with the constantly changing script, the boy playing her older brother doesn’t seem to reciprocate Joss’s crush, and the film’s gritty subject matter terrifies her. Yet none of these things appear to matter to Joss’s agent, director, or even her mother. Joss is just a cash cow, and no one cares what she has to do for the perfect shot-as long as she gets it somehow.
Author Lygia Day Peñaflor’s draws on her firsthand experience as a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars in this affecting debut novel that explores the many demands made on young actors.
Twelve year old Joss is a child actor. She’s been pushed into it by her mother, but it seems to be a good fit for her because she excels at it. She is, however, plagued by insecurities and feels pressure from her mother to be the wage earner in the family.
Right away, I was very protective of Joss and enmeshed in her life. I also wanted to strangle her mother. Rarely have I ever felt so emotionally invested in a character but there was something about Joss that made me feel completely invested in her and her situation.
This book is perfect for older MG readers, especially those who may be enamored of celebrities as it would help them to realize that these celebrities that they love are actual people with real issues and problems. The writing was definitely well done. I found it interesting that the author works with child actors, which definitely helped with the realism.
About the Author
Lygia Day Peñaflor attended the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Seminar and received a scholarship to Southampton Writers Conference based on this manuscript. A graduate of Boston University and Columbia Teachers College, she is a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars. Her students have included the young casts of Gossip Girl and Boardwalk Empire as well as Jay-Z’s reboot of Annie. She lives on Long Island.