Jacky Hart struggles with a shuddering problem. When other kids make fun of her she fights back by being the class clown. Sometimes her antics make her friends laugh, but other times they just land her in the principal's office. When Jacky gets 20 detentions in the first day of 8th grade, a new teacher offers her a way out if she agrees to try out for the school play. Jacky reluctantly agrees, but soon finds that theater life suits her. Soon play practice is the only light in her otherwise dismal life that includes worrying about a mother serving in Afghanistan, a father who seems too interested in a female co-worker, and an ailing grandmother.
I am not a huge James Patterson fan, but somehow most of his books end up on the best seller lists. This one has kid appeal. There are some funny moments and it is highly illustrated with cartoon drawing. Kids who like Diary of a Wimpy Kid would probably like it. I guess it appeals to a certain demographic, and that demographic buys books. (363 p.)