Monday, November 25, 2013

Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace by Nan Marino - ADVISABLE

Marino, Nan Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace, 248 pgs. Roaring Book Press, 2013. $16.99. Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: G; 

Elvis Ruby is an 11 year old superstar musician.  One night as he was to perform, he freezes on stage.  His dad decides he needs a break and takes him to stay with Aunt Emily and her daughter Millicent at their diner, the Pancake Palace.  It’s a great place to hide from the paparazzi, his fans and everyone else.  Millicent is determined to help him blend in and not get noticed.  She cuts his hair, dyes it a different color and encourages him to go by a different name.  He chooses the name Aaron.   Aunt Emily and Millicent put Aaron to work in the diner and warn him to keep his head down and not look people in the eye.  Unbeknownst to Aaron and his family, a young local girl, Cecilia, witnesses his arrival; however, it was dark when he arrived so initially she doesn’t recognize him.  Not long after that night, Cecilia overhears Aaron talking about “Elvis Ruby” and realizes who he is.  Cecilia is in need of a friend so she waits for him in the diner and tells him that she knows his secret, but promises not to tell anyone.  Aaron is worried and with good reason.  According to Cecilia, secrets can spread like wildfires.  

This was a cute, well written story about finding out who you are, making friends, and the difficulty in keeping secrets.   Relevant aspects of our day, namely reality TV, and the hype and paparazzi associated with the young and famous, will ring true for readers.  


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