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The Upside of Ordinary

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Jermaine Davidson wants to be famous and decides to become the first eleven-year old producer and star of a reality TV show that is about her life. Jermaine's efforts lead to her learning the upside of being part of a loving but ordinary family. ...more
Hardcover, 136 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Holiday House
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Sweet on Books
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: melissa-g, reader-sr
The rich and famous have always been glorified, but with reality television, the road to that lifestyle seems more accessible these days. And, as reality television has proven, you don't even need any talent to become a star. Eleven-year-old Jermaine Davidson is obsessed with finding her own path to fame. She considers her options and decides that with her frizzy hair, she's not likely to cut it as a model, so her best bet is to film a reality television show about her own family. That's her eas ...more
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved it!!! Best book in the world! It's not so popular though. The book is about a girl named Jermaine she wants to become famous, so she makes a family reality TV show. ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Kind of... predictable
I did a complete review on Project Mayhem, but here's a list of My Five Favorite Things about the novel:

1. A strong character arc. Jermaine is a completely believable preteen. She is so determined to win fame, that she stages some appalling stunts to make her reality show more exciting. But as events begin to snowball, she realizes the pain she's caused, and takes steps to make amends.

2. A strong supporting cast. From Jermaine's older sister, Zelda--to her parents, aunt and uncle, and best frien
Sandra Stiles
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jermaine Davidson, eleven years old, is like so many kids today who want to be superstars. What originally starts out as a "reality show" turns into chaos. It seems that Jermaine thinks her family is boring. It is this thought process that leads her to stage many scenes for her "show". These are the beginnings of catastrophes. Jermaine is typical of many middle schoolers who think only of themselves. I say this as a middle school teacher. They don't always think things through first. This is a g ...more
Dana Grimes
Jan 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
Interesting look at our Reality TV culture through the perspective of a budding star and filmmaker, who happens to also be eleven. There were really great discussion moments in this book but I felt like they were sometimes too obviously black and white. Also, the main character Jermaine was pretty annoying and unlikable throughout most of this book but that was most likely on purpose and served the story well.

Lastly, I loved the part about her bringing home the class tarantula and have to say t
Teen Reader: The book is written for young readers with dreams. The book identifies some very valuable lessons about our dreams to become what we see on television, as well as what happens when you let attention change your view of life, family, and friends.

Parent Perspective: Great story, well told! Parents and kids alike will relate to the desire for fame and the pervasiveness (if not a fixation on) reality television. The family dynamics are universal, even though the specific events may not
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jermaine Davidson wants to be famous and she thinks she’s found the way. She will film her family and create a reality TV show in Susan Lubner's novel, The Upside of Ordinary. To Jermaine her family is super dull. Her solution is to set up exciting events, resulting in disastrous and sometimes humorous moments. After causing all kinds of havoc for her family and friends, Jermaine decides that it is more important to make amends then to become a celebrity, so she sets her camera aside. She comes ...more
11 yr old Jermaine is obsessed with reality tv. She wants to be famous and knows that the only way for that to happen in Maine when you are 11 is to become an internet sensation or a reality tv star. She starts taping her family and writing to her favorite producer in the hopes that she can become famous. Every day life is full of every day drama. She gives a friend a bad haircut, her aunt get into a fight that ends with the uncle leaving his family.

The book is simple. Not a page turner but mig
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. In a world of youtube and reality t.v. this is a story that my students can relate to. The characters in the story are authentic. I had a few of my middle school students read this too, and the girls really like it. It won't be a cult following like Harry Potter and Twilight, but I've asked our school librarian to order it and I have a feeling that it will become one of those books that the girls talk about.
Diane Greiner
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
A story that a lot of people can relate to with the insurgence of reality tv infiltrating the networks. It is about a girl who loses sight of what's important while trying to film a winning combination for her own show and how she redeems herself with those she loves most. I believe it is one of those books that will be checked out a lot at my school library. ...more
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-books
Maybe it's me, but i found this book boring. This is a summary of the book: Eleven-year-old Jermaine's quest for fame as the creator of a reality television show based on her less-than-exciting family and friends teaches her important lessons about unbridled ambition, selfishness, and the upside of ordinary.

Maybe if you wanted to teach a child some lessons this would be good for them.
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: waw-options
I'm on a streak of bad books! I didn't like this realistic fiction possible WAW nominee, either! It's about Jermaine trying to be famous by videotaping her family for a possible reality TV show. She is very selfish by making bad things happen to make her show more interesting. So I didn't like her character at all which makes it hard to enjoy the story. This is a no vote for me. ...more
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mi-libro
Tracy Brownridge-arflack
Feb 05, 2013 is currently reading it
I gave this book to my nephew who is going to give me a full review from his perspective. It is for his age group and i thought a review from him would be the best yet!!
Nancy Jo Lambert
I reviewed this book for School Library Journal.
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I liked this story, very easy to read, a good lesson for school children. I would recommend this to teachers who want to read an uplifting story with a good morale!
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Susan Lubner writes for children and is the author of three picture books (Abrams Books for Young Readers) and two middle grade novels, Lizzy and the Good Luck Girl (Running Press Kids/Hachette Books) FALL 2018 and The Upside of Ordinary (Holiday House). Her work has been published in Spider Magazine and Highlights for Children. Susan has two grown daughters and lives in Massachusetts with her hus ...more

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