Famous at Last


48 pages
ISBN 1-895900-11-5
DDC jC813'.54





Illustrations by Jill Quinn
Reviewed by Terri L. Lyons

Terri L. Lyons is an elementary-school librarian, who also teaches in
the Distance Education Department and specializes in readers’ advisory
services at Mohawk College.


All 9-year-old Fred has ever wanted is to be a famous person.
Recognizing the power of commercials, Fred calls the local TV station,
which provides him with the name of a local producer. The audition is
for beans, baked beans, yuck! Fred smiles for the camera as he thinks
about feeding his dog the beans under the table.

With that first “lie,” Fred is hired. Suddenly, people recognize
him everywhere. With each new vegetable, Fred smiles and lies about how
great they are. He finds that things he didn’t want to do
before—like studying new things in class or playing outside—are
becoming more and more desirable. Maybe being famous isn’t all it’s
cracked up to be!

This novel for early independent readers dispenses its gentle moral
with a large dose of humor. Fred is a likable, completely believable
character. The first-person narrative allows us to experience Fred’s
gradual realization that his life is no longer his own. The child in all
of us can relate to Fred’s desire to be famous and special. Like Fred,
most of us learn that we are each special in our own unique ways. Choyce
conveys this message in an accessible but not pedantic manner. Highly


Choyce, Lesley., “Famous at Last,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/19381.