Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace” as Want to Read:
Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  468 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
In Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace by Nan Marino, eleven-year-old musical prodigy, Elvis Ruby, was supposed to win the most coveted reality show on television, Tween Star. None of the other contestants even came close to his talents. But in the middle of the biggest night, with millions of people watching, Elvis panicked. He forgot the words to the song. He forgot the tun ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Roaring Brook Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace

The Candymakers by Wendy MassA Snicker of Magic by Natalie LloydHiding Out at the Pancake Palace by Nan MarinoIt's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa SchroederScones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland
YA & MG Food, Sweets, & Baking Books
3rd out of 22 books — 3 voters
The School for Good and Evil by Soman ChainaniThe Runaway King by Jennifer A. NielsenRump by Liesl ShurtliffThe Ability by M.M. VaughanThe House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Middle Grade Novels of 2013
320th out of 372 books — 741 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,122)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kate Lallier
Dec 18, 2012 Kate Lallier rated it it was amazing
Nan Marino has touched my heart again with her middle grade novel, Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace. Ever since Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle debuted, I've been waiting for this delightfully lyrical author to enchant me with another charming yarn. She did not disappoint.
Where Neil Armstrong was an historical fiction set in 1969 Long Island, this time Nan is writing about contemporary children from the pine lands of New Jersey. Elvis Ruby and Cecilia are the main characters and as different as two c
Jun 17, 2014 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book left me feeling... conflicted.

Most of what you need to know, you can guess from the cover and the title. In a very small town in New Jersey, hours from any other civilization, an 11-year old girl watches as a mysterious stranger arrives quietly in the middle of the night. In the light of day, there is a new boy working at the town's "Pancake Palace", and staying with its owner, Aunt Emily, and her adult daughter, Millicent. Even though she is not a pop culture fan herself, Cecilia soon
The Pinelands of New Jersey might seem to be an unlikely place for a musical prodigy to hide, but that's exactly where eleven-year-old Elvis Aaron Ruby heads after freezing during his performance on TweenStar. His musician father grew up in the area and still has a couple of friends there. Elvis needs a place to hide from the paparazzi and try to get in touch with himself. Elvis has charisma, good looks, charm, and talent, and his benefactors do their best to help him blend in to the small town ...more
Aug 24, 2013 TurtleneckGirl rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-buddies

Cute story with positive themes of courage, friendship, self-esteem, family togetherness, and music! When eleven-year-old superstar Elvis, hot competitor on the reality tv show TweenStar, freezes up on the biggest night of the competition, he is targeted by the paparazzi. His dad brings him to stay with his Aunt Emily, who runs a restaurant called The Pancake Palace in the Pinelands of New Jersey, until all the fuss blows over. Elvis meets a girl named Cecilia, who marches to her own drum and do
Toni Palma
Sep 15, 2013 Toni Palma rated it it was amazing
I love that Nan Marino has set her wonderful story in a sort-of-fictitious place that most people pass through on their way to somewhere else. Wares Grove (based on a real New Jersey town) is the perfect place for young phenom Elvis Ruby to hide out after he, the shoe-in winner for a national singing contest, suffers a case of stage fright. Cecilia, a local girl, befriends Elvis - now known as Aaron - and, through music, the twosome find their own sense of specialness.

A sprinkling of local folkl
Jan 03, 2014 Karon rated it really liked it
This is a really sweet book. The characters are so quirky and lovable, I wanted to hug every one of them. Plus one of the main settings is a pancake house, who doesn't love a pancake house?? I received this as a giveaway on Twitter and wasn't completely sure I would like it. Two pages in and I couldn't put it down - An American Idol type contest runaway, a girl searching for her identity, and music woven throughout. Marino does a great job of integrating many moving parts into a cohesive story l ...more
Donna Siebold
Jan 15, 2015 Donna Siebold rated it liked it
Elvis Ruby is competing in the television show, TweenStar and he appears to be a lock to win, until he freezes up during the competition and cannot sing. Now he is being hounded to death by people who want to get his true story. He goes into hiding in Wares Grove, New Jersey, a small town in the Pinelands. He is staying with a family friend, "Aunt Emily" and her daughter Millicent. Emily runs Piney Pete's Pancake Palace. They make the best pancakes in the world but only in three flavors, red - c ...more
I wish I liked this book more. There was nothing particularly wrong with it, and I liked what was there, but I was just left wanting more. The whole thing felt rather empty and I don't really know why. I think possibly the author didn't dig deep enough into any of the characters, so you never really got to understand them. (view spoiler) ...more
May 25, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it
I loved this small town book set in the New Jersey Pinelands. Elvis Ruby is a big superstar who choked on stage. To escape the paparazzi, he dyes his hair and moves in with a family friend who runs the Pancake Palace in a small town where everyone knows everybody. A girl named Cecelia discovers his secret while trying to track down the secret song of the pines. She herself doesn't really enjoy music at all, and she needs Elvis to help her find her own rhythm.
I loved the stories and rhythm of thi
Carol Royce Owen
Oct 26, 2014 Carol Royce Owen rated it really liked it
Working my way through the Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award nominees I came upon this gem. Elvis Ruby is a world famous rising star in music, but presently he is hiding out in Wares Grove, NJ after a disastrous experience of freezing on stage before a live audience. No one knows who he is except for the two ladies, Aunt Emily and Millicent who work to hide his identity, and introduce him to the small town as Aaron, Emily's nephew from her ex-husband's side.
It's not long, though, before an
Victoria Whipple
Elvis Ruby is a superstar, and when a superstar makes a major blunder on national TV everyone wants to know about it. In order to escape the media circus, Elvis goes to a small New Jersey town to stay with his aunt and help our at her pancake restaurant until the scandal has blown over. How easy is it for a superstar to stay hidden, though? He meets many of the townspeople, including Cecelia, a girl his age who becomes his friend. This is a story of embracing one's talents while dealing with the ...more
Ms. Garr
Oct 05, 2015 Ms. Garr rated it really liked it
Shelves: mcba-2015-2016
Grade 4 or 5 and up; on the MCBA list for this year. A famous (fictional) tween pop star goes into hiding from paparazzi after freezing during his performance on a popular, "American Idol"-like reality show for young singers and ends up in the Pinelands of New Jersey at his aunt and cousin's Pancake Palace restaurant. He is befriended by a lonely, quirky girl who is desperately trying to hear the song the trees sang in her parents' legendary story of her birth. There's a tiny bit of fantasy and ...more
May 14, 2013 Wendy added it
As soon as I heard that Nan Marino had a new book out, I sprinted to the library to get on the wait list. What a great, classic middle-grade book! Marino deftly combines the vagaries of fame, growing up and a wee bit of magic all into a terrific romp of a book.
Elizabeth Finney
I didn't get this book. There were parts that were farcical (the talk about his charisma and how hard it was to hide his talent), parts that bordered on being realistic (the parts about the girl trying to deal with the mean girls from school), parts that were trying to be topical (the reality/music show; the texting big sister), parts that were fantastic (the Jersey Devil; the song Cecilia's family hears when she's born) - I just never really followed the tone of the book. And I couldn't care en ...more
Aug 22, 2015 Marcia rated it really liked it
Shelves: mcba, grades-4-6
Elvis Ruby just might be the biggest celebrity in the world. Famous for his stint on TweenStar, and now famous for freezing onstage, his manager dad thinks he need a break from the spotlight. But it isn't easy to relax when the world knows your face and your voice. So Elvis is sent off to Wares Grove, NJ and his aunt's pancake restaurant for the summer. He uses an alias, gets a cut and color, and starts to blend in working at the restaurant. That is until Cecilia, an offbeat girl, puts two and t ...more
Katie Lawrence
Nov 16, 2014 Katie Lawrence rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kay Carman
Feb 23, 2016 Kay Carman rated it liked it
Shelves: children, stage, singers
Eleven-year-old Elvis Ruby, a finalist on TweenStar, an American Idol-type show, freezes on stage and his father takes him to a distant relative's in New Jersey to hide out from the press. His story is intertwined with that of Cecelia, a resident of Wares Grove (where Elvis is hiding), a quirky girl who has trouble making friends, and who needs more from her mother than she gets. There's also a storyline involving the mythical Jersey Devil but I didn't understand what that was about. If my inter ...more
Apr 16, 2013 Tara marked it as to-read
I *loved* Nan Marino's NEIL ARMSTRONG IS MY UNCLE. I cannot wait to read this one!
Apr 04, 2016 Aylea rated it liked it
This review published by Brigham Young University's Children's Book and Media Review

Elvis Ruby was supposed to win the biggest reality TV show, Tween Star. He doesn’t. Cecilia is supposed to be able to hear the music of the trees that played when she was born. She doesn’t. When Elvis runs away to the middle of New Jersey to avoid the press after he panics on stage and loses the competition, he meets Cecilia. The two of them explore their interesting town to discover their own music in the midst
Sep 16, 2014 Rikki rated it liked it
Hiding out at the Pancake Palace is a sticky-sweet story of friendship and fame. The story follows eleven year old Cecilia Wreel who lives in a one traffic light sort of town in the Pinelands of New Jersey. No one goes to the Pinelands unless they’re lost or looking for a good place to hide. Every year on her birthday, Cecilia’s parents tell the tale of the day she was born in the marsh when the trees sang a special song to welcome her to the world. However, this year, her mom has decided not to ...more
Jan 23, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I cannot believe this is happening to me. This. Is. Not. Happening. To. Me.

Yesterday, I was hanging out with Justin Bieber at the NBA All-Star Game dodging the paparazzi from Celebrity Scoop magazine, and now I’m flipping pancakes in a t-shirt with the Jersey Devil on it. Yesterday, I was being compared to Elvis Presley in every newspaper in America. Today, I’m just the kid who choked on the world’s most popular reality show. Goodbye, superstar musician Elvis Ruby. Hello, Aaron: Nobody Kid from
Ms. Yingling
Oct 21, 2013 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it
Elvis Ruby is a shoe-in to win the Tween Star singing competition, but freezes at the last minute and is completely embarrassed. Since his father is touring with his sister Cher, Elvis changes his name to Aaron and hides out with family friends who run a restaurant near the pine forests in New Jersey. There, he tries hard not to stand out in any way, and makes friends with Cecilia, a girl who has poor social skills and no appreciation for music. She figures out early on who Aaron is, but doesn't ...more
Sharon Tyler
Jun 18, 2013 Sharon Tyler rated it really liked it
Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace by Nan Marino is a children's chapter book that is schedule for release on April 16 2013. Elvis Aaron Ruby is a musical prodigy, and at eleven has decided that he needs a break from the spotlight. The only place he can hide is with his aunt and cousin at Piney Pete's Pancake Palace in New Jersey. Cecilia is a girl that likes to sneak out and roam at night, and cannot seem to stop blurting out whatever is on her mind.When she discovers the secret behind the new b ...more
Jul 08, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: mg
As a fairly recent transplant to New Jersey the first sentence is intriguing - because who knew in a smallish, very crowded state someone could find an out of the way place to hide? --
If you need somewhere to hide, try the Pinelands of New Jersey.
It's a wild place filled with swamp streams. And sand hills. Salt marshes and bogs. There are towns too, some so small they don't make it on the map. No one pays attention to them anyway.

The last sentence on the short first page: A place like this yo
Oswego Public Library District
Elvis Ruby is a super star with phenomenal talent! At eleven years old he sings like an angel, can play just about any musical instrument, is full of charm and personality, and has dark curly hair to die for. He was sure to win the TweenStar TV reality competition, when he froze on stage during a live performance. The paparazzi are now relentlessly camped outside his hotel waiting for him. To get away and have some quiet time Elvis’ dad drops him off at Piney Pete’s Pancake Palace in Wares Grove ...more
Oct 05, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
I reviewed this for our middle school library. While the story line sounds cliche to mature readers, middle schoolers will probably not have that reaction, and will eat this up. It did include some fresh and poetic elements in a side plot, that enhanced the story greatly. Touches on themes of loss, popularity, and finding your identity. I thought this was a fun story submerged in modern pop culture. No poor language. "G" rating.
Liz Fothergill
Dec 14, 2014 Liz Fothergill rated it it was ok
Just could not get into this story of a "tween" musical phenom who flopped in the finale of a reality show hiding out in a small town in New Jersey and friending the totally non-musical Cecilia who's looking for...her music. I think that sums up the problem for me. The plot didn't resonate for me, the characters were weak, and the Elvis connection totally fell flat-not what I imagine the typical 11 year going crazy for.
Mar 19, 2014 Jacqui rated it liked it
Elvis Ruby, a musical prodigy, goes into hiding in the Pinelands of New Jersey after being sent home from an American Idol-esque show. Enter a cast of small town characters, a pancake house (owned by his aunt), the Jersey Devil and $10,000 reward for telling Elvis' whereabouts and you have this real sleeper of a hit.
Oct 07, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
After Elvis Ruby, an 11-year-old musical prodigy from a family of musical stars, freezes up during a tween musical reality television contest and wants to avoid the paparazzi, he goes to stay with Aunt Emily at Piney Pete's Pancake Palace in the pinelands of New Jersey. There he tries to create an unnoticeable persona with a haircut and dye, a new name (Aaron) and non-charismatic behavior. Cecilia figures out his secret pretty quickly, and enlists his help trying to find the music in the forest ...more
I only read this for a book club I co-host, and it was one of my least favorite books we've read. Unfortunately, the kids in the book club weren't enthused about the novel either.

Although I think Marino did a great job creating the setting, there was just something missing from the plot and the characters were drab. A disappointing read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 37 38 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Popular Clone (The Clone Chronicles, #1)
  • Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet
  •  Beholding Bee
  • The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
  • The Awesome Almost 100% True Adventures of Matt & Craz
  • Aces Wild
  • The Vine Basket
  • 33 Minutes
  • Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School
  • Kelsey Green, Reading Queen
  • Odette's Secrets
  • The Path of Names
  • Serafina's Promise
  • Mountain Dog
  • The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher
  • The 14 Fibs of Gregory K.
  • Jack Strong Takes a Stand (A Charlie Joe Jackson Spinoff)
  • On the Road to Mr. Mineo's

Share This Book

“ 'A guitar would work.' But then again so would a flute. A horn. A banjo. A tambourine. A trombone. The drums. When you're mixing music and love, there really is no bad combination." -Elvis Ruby” 1 likes
More quotes…