Monday, June 11, 2007

Review: First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover

Imagine your dad were running for President of the United States. This scenario is conflict in and of itself, but now add to the mix issues of foreign adoption, race, and a press gone mad. That's Sameera (Sparrow) Righton's life at the end of her sophomore year of high school in Mitali Perkins' First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover.

Sameera leaves her multinational high school in Brussels for the craziness of a presidential campaign in the States. She'll miss her friends--who are from all over the world--but she's determined to help campaign for her father and, so, relies on her MyPlace page to keep in touch with her friends.

Upon her arrival she's met by Tara, Dad's PR person who is in charge of the Rightons' image. Sameera gets all dolled up in Beverly Hills and Tara's webguy creates and writes a Sameera blog, complete with manga-like Sameera images. Sameera likes the real makeover, but the virtual one chafes. When discussions of her "race" (Sameera was adopted by the Rightons in Pakistan) turn up in the press, Sameera goes along with Tara and the webguy, allowing her image and even her name to be changed--to Sammy.

When the press shows up to Sameera's summer haven--her grandparents house in Ohio--she's had enough. She returns to Washington to be with her parents and takes control of her own image, starting up her own blog (Sparrow Speaking! Listen Up!) and even making friends with members of a George Washington University group, South Asian Republican Students.

First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover isn't about politics or, even, the presidential elections. It's about fame, finding one's own true voice, and being responsible for your own image. Sameera is a likable, strong female character and you'll cheer for her triumphs and discoveries.

First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover is the first in a series--one I'm certain will be a hit with readers ages ten and up.
Sameera (Sparrow) Righton is on a blog tour. Here's her schedule:

Monday, 6/11: 5 Minutes For Mom and Jennifer Snapshot
Tuesday, 6/12: Big A little a
Wednesday, 6/13: Semicolon
Thursday, 6/14: Jen Robinson's Book Page
Friday, 6/15: Little Willow
Monday, 6/18: Sara's Hold Shelf

This is the first time a fictional character will visit my blog and I'm excited to get to know her better.