Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Close to Famous” as Want to Read:
Close to Famous
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Close to Famous

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  8,129 Ratings  ·  937 Reviews
Foster McFee dreams of having her own cooking show like her idol, celebrity chef Sonny Kroll. Macon Dillard's goal is to be a documentary filmmaker. Foster's mother Rayka longs to be a headliner instead of a back-up singer. And Miss Charleena plans a triumphant return to Hollywood. Everyone has a dream, but nobody is even close to famous in the little town of Culpepper. Un ...more
Kindle Edition, 259 pages
Published February 3rd 2011 by Puffin (first published February 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Lola  Reviewer
3.5 stars.

A very heartfelt middle grade novel.

Foster is unlike any twelve-year-old you’ve ever met. Although she lives in a small town, she has the big dream of one day having her own cooking reality show. She is dedicated, determined and hopeful.

Even when times are hard, such as when her mama is the victim of domestic violence, Foster keeps her head on her shoulders. She has to be strong for her mama and for herself. Her daddy died at war, so she knows he won’t save them from the evil Elvis im
Apr 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok so I'm pretty much a self-proclaimed cupcake addict. I mean come on, who doesn't love cupcakes? Don't answer that because I probably wouldn't get along with someone who can't fathom the sweet goodness of cupcakes. So why the rant about cupcakes? Because my sister is baking something delectable and my mouth is watering, but mostly because the cover has finger-lickin' good cupcakes.

Confession:So that wasn't the only reason why I read this. I've been a long time follower of Bauer's work, and I w
It is such bliss to have access to recently published books. Especially to an author I am really coming to love. I love her style. I love the issues she brings up for the teens, the characters in the books (especially the ones who uplift the main character), how the teens learn, and how the problems are resolved. More and more I regret that I did not buy one of her books and have her sign it when I met her a few years ago--even though that was the first time I'd really heard of her.

So, on to the
Jul 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens who like cooking or have reading problems.
Bauer specializes in feisty female teens who have tough challenges and manage to get through them. In this one, Foster can't read, even though she has "passed" sixth grade. Her Mom is a singer, living with a guy who is an Elvis impersonator and claims he can make her mother famous. He also is abusive, both physically with her Mom and verbally with Foster. After he hit her Mom in the eye, they ran for it. They end up in a small town and grow to like a lot of the people there. Even Miss Charleena ...more
Alex Templeton
I've really loved a lot of Bauer's other novels ("Rules of the Road", "Hope Was Here"). I've been excited to share them with students and have always looked forward to her new books. I was disappointed by this book, though. It may be because the book was written for a younger audience--upper elementary instead of middle/early high school--but I felt that Bauer barreled through events and character development, paying them lip service without getting into anything resembling the depth she usually ...more
Allison Barash
Oct 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. This story seemed to be a mish-mash of a thousand different things - it felt like it didn't have a focus.

The story is about a 12 year old girl named Foster. She is desperate to become a famous cook on the Food Network and is obsessed with a tv personality named Sonny. The story begins as she and her mother are fleeing her mother's abusive boyfriend, Huck - an Elvis impersonator. They move to a new small town and meet a wide array of people. There's the l
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-fiction
Alright, already! I admit it! I am such a sucker for a story where folks come to the rescue of those in need and a story where the ending is sweet and worth cheering for. I just can't help it! I guess it is so unlike real life anymore that I find I need books that make me feel good. I've tried all sorts of genres...some creep me out, some drive me crazy, some make me think too much ("Now, class, what do you think the author meant by that statement?" Ummm, don't care!) and some give me nightmares ...more
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two weeks ago I was walking through the Young Adult section of my library, on my way to pick up another book, when this one caught my eye. It was the picture of the cupcakes on the front that drew me in and after a quick scan of the front flap I decided to grab it and give it a go. Oh how I loved this book. The main character loves to bake and actually sees baking as a means to making the world a better place (mind you she is a 12 year old girl living in a tiny town in WV). My kind of thinking. ...more
Oct 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sweet-and-sour
Close to Famous is about a 12 year old girl, Foster, who loves cooking. The story takes you through her road trip to a new home in West Virginia. There she meets many people who take part in her life and together they learn valuable life lessons from each other.

This books isn't a favorite of mine, but it did have some valuable lessons and a strong theme that I think would be fairly easy for middle school children to understand. One such theme is simply "never give up" as much of a cliche as that
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another strong title by the always reliable Joan Bauer. I love how her books often examine some kind of career and show teens or pre-teens deeply involved in some activity. In the case of Foster McFee, who just managed to finish sixth grade by the skin of her teeth, that positive activity is baking. Foster has been baking since she got an Easy-Bake oven at four, and she creates her own sweet concoctions. Foster and her mother, a talented singer who has always been relegated to the role o ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Crazy for Young A...: Close to Famous by Joan Bauer → Start Date: June 20th, 2015 6 8 Jun 28, 2015 09:18PM  
Upper Elementary ...: Close to Famous 1 5 Jun 23, 2014 09:07AM  
  • Sparrow Road
  • Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917
  • Ghetto Cowboy
  • Addie on the Inside (The Misfits, #3)
  • I, Emma Freke
  • Words in the Dust
  • Barn Boot Blues
  • Warp Speed
  • The Absolute Value of Mike
  • Hidden
  • Boys Without Names
  • A Dog's Way Home
  • When Life Gives You O.J.
  • Hound Dog True
  • Pie
  • In Front of God and Everybody (Confessions of April Grace #1)
  • The Great Wall of Lucy Wu
  • The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman

July 12, 1951 - I was born at eleven A.M., a most reasonable time, my mother often said, and when the nurse put me in my mother's arms for the first time I had both a nasty case of the hiccups and no discernible forehead (it's since grown in). I've always believed in comic entrances.

As I grew up in River Forest, Illinois, in the 1950's, I seem to remember a
More about Joan Bauer...
“I'll tell you something about tough times. They just about kill you, but if you decide to keep working at them, you'll find your way through.” 29 likes
“But then Macon smiled at me. "Just be yourself, Foster. That's the best thing in the world.” 8 likes
More quotes…