Renee Hand's Reviews > Hot Ticket

Hot Ticket by Tracy Marchini
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's review
Jul 26, 2011

really liked it

Hot Ticket is a fun story that children in middle school can relate too, yet has interesting twists and turns.

Juliet Robinson is just a regular girl trying to survive middle school. There’s not much she feels she does right. She tries to stay out of trouble but finds herself, more often than not, sitting down by the principal’s office. It wasn’t her fault she “accidentally” punched the most popular girl in school in the face, was it?

John Jay Junior High or most commonly called, Triple J, was a unique middle school because the students were enthralled with hot tickets since the beginning of the school year. Hot tickets could be awarded for doing something cool, saying something funny, or sometimes even just wearing something the ticket dispenser liked. There were also shame tickets. These tickets were given out if someone did something shameful, like punch the most popular girl in school in the face. A student would get recognized for this behavior also.

The problem was that Juliet had never received a hot ticket or a shame ticket throughout her 6th grade career. She found this very upsetting. Her friends around her even received them, but no matter what Juliet did, right or wrong, she never received one. This led her, along with her friends Lucy, Steve, and Madeline, to form a group to discover who the ticket dispenser was. You see, these tickets were handed out randomly, though no one really knew who delivered them. Students found them on their desks, in their lockers—wherever. When a student received one, they showed them around school suddenly getting more attention and feeling just a little bit more important.

Juliet wanted to be popular and well thought of. Her goal was to discover who the ticket dispenser was, and in return, the school would love her for it, treating her with the respect and attention she deserved. Juliet had become so obsessed with the task of finding out who the ticket dispenser was, that she began to miss the bigger picture. Will Juliet be able to discover who the ticket dispenser was? And if she did, would she be happy with the results, or surprised that she had taken out a rewarding system that recognized people who would have normally been overlooked?

This story touches on many topics. No matter what school a child goes to, there will always be children who think they are better in some way than somebody else. There are those popular people and the not so popular. But who decides this ritual, and is it always right? This story, in some ways, breaks down that barrier and exposes the insecurities of those popular people. Every child should be treated with an equal amount of respect, regardless of what they do or where they are from. In this case, Juliet realized that she had to earn the masses respect, and she did that in an unexpected way.

In this 170-page chapter book, children will be able to relate, in many ways, to the feelings and trials that many of the characters go through in middle school. Confidence and belief in one’s own abilities will help guide them in finding their own strengths and to not worry about what other people think. Children will be eagerly awaiting the next volume in this series to see where Juliet Robinson will take them next.


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