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In the Role of Brie Hutchens . . .

By: Nicole Melleby

Introducing Brie Hutchens: soap opera super fan, aspiring actor, and so-so student at her small Catholic school. Brie has big plans for eighth grade. She’s going to be the star of the school play and convince her parents to let her go to the performing arts high school. But when Brie’s mom walks in on her accidentally looking at some possibly inappropriate photos of her favorite actress, Brie panics and blurts out that she’s been chosen to crown the Mary statue during her school’s May Crowning ceremony. Brie’s mom is distracted with pride—but Brie’s in big trouble: she has not been chosen. No one has, yet. Worse, Brie has almost no chance to get the job, which always goes to a top student.

Desperate to make her lie become truth, Brie turns to Kennedy, the girl everyone expects to crown Mary. But sometimes just looking at Kennedy gives Brie butterflies. Juggling her confusing feelings with the rapidly approaching May Crowning, not to mention her hilarious non-star turn in the school play, Brie navigates truth and lies, expectations and identity, and how to—finally—make her mother really see her as she is.

ISBN: 9781616209070

JLG Release: Jul 2020


Sensitive Areas: Language: Mild Language
Topics: Coming out (sexual orientation) , Lesbians , Honesty , Catholic schools , Mothers and daughters , Family life , School plays , Acting , Religion , LGBTQ

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Eighth grade is proving to be a difficult year for Brie Hutchens as she negotiates crushes, play tryouts, friendships, parental tensions, awakening sexuality, and a need to do better on her schoolwork in her small Catholic middle school. Brie wants to be an actress like the ones she and her mother watch in the soap operas every afternoon, to land t Eighth grade is proving to be a difficult year for Brie Hutchens as she negotiates crushes, play tryouts, friendships, parental tensions, awakening sexuality, and a need to do better on her schoolwork in her small Catholic middle school. Brie wants to be an actress like the ones she and her mother watch in the soap operas every afternoon, to land the lead role in the school play, and to attend the Theater High School next year. But her father has lost his job and works as a custodian in her school in return for tuition, and her mom has to work even more hours to help make ends meet, so that school may be out of reach. When she is caught looking at suggestive pictures of a pretty soap-opera star, Brie lies about being chosen to crown the Mary statue during the very important May Crowning Ceremony at her school. She knows that the honor will probably go to someone who excels in class—someone like the lovely Kennedy. Unlike her best friend, who crushes on every boy in class, Brie finds herself attracted to Kennedy; this causes her to wrestle with very confusing emotions, to have some tense conversations with her parents, and even to question her Catholic faith. Her struggles and those of her family seem authentic, their interactions realistic, and Brie’s desire to be really seen and loved for who she is will ring true with many middle school readers. Although not all readers will identify with the Catholic school experience, they will empathize with Brie as she strives to find herself, comes to terms with her sexuality, and navigates the social maze that is middle school.

Book Details

ISBN

9781616209070

First Release

July 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

272

Accelerated Reader

Level 5; Points: 8;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Algonquin

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Mild Language

Topics

Coming out (sexual orientation), Lesbians, Honesty, Catholic schools, Mothers and daughters, Family life, School plays, Acting, Religion, LGBTQ,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

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