Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review: Claim to Fame by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Claim to Fame
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Publication: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (November 10, 2009)

Description: I have to tell you my secret. I can't go on...without revealing it. I had a pretty good run, hiding from everyone for five years. For five years I was safe. But now...

It was a talent that came out of nowhere. One day Lindsay Scott was on the top of the world, the star of a hit TV show. The next day her fame had turned into torture. Every time anyone said anything about her, she heard it. And everyone was talking about Lindsay: fans, friends, enemies, enemies who pretended to be friends....

Lindsay had what looked like a nervous breakdown and vanished from the public eye. But now she's sixteen and back in the news: A tabloid newspaper claims that Lindsay is being held hostage by her father.

The truth? Lindsay has been hiding out in a small Illinois town, living in a house that somehow provides relief from the stream of voices in her head. But when two local teenagers try to "rescue" Lindsay by kidnapping her, Lindsay is forced to confront everything she's hiding from. And that's when she discovers there may be others who share her strange power. Lindsay is desperate to learn more, but what is she willing to risk to find the truth?

First Paragraph: I was supposed to be doing my algebra homework that night. Nobody ever tells you, "Do your algebra and it will keep you safe. It will protect you from being kidnapped." Nobody ever says that. But in my case, that night, it might have been true.

My Thoughts: I wasn't sure about this book when I began it. Lindsay seemed so fearful and damaged. She was afraid to leave her house because, if she did, she was overwhelmed by hearing people around the world talk about her. She didn't know why her house blocked out the sounds but she was terrified to leave it. She is dealing with her father's sudden death and the sense that she is completely alone in the world. She is befriended by her "kidnappers" and a secretary at the college where her father taught. She learns that she is not alone in her talent and that she can be a lot stronger than she had believed.

Lindsay grows remarkably during the course of this book. It was a very nice read that would be of interest to younger YA readers and mature middle grade readers. The discussion of transcendentalism and Emerson and Thoreau might be a stumbling block for students who have studied them.

Challenges: In the Middle Reading Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge

1 comment:

  1. I've been curious about this one since she's written some books that my students really enjoy. This sounds a bit different than other stuff she's read, but I think I'll look into it.


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