The Stars of Summer: An All Four Stars Book

Posted on Jun 5, 2016 in BR Library

9780399170690By Tara Dairman
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Pages: 352
Age Range: 10 Years

Joan Bauer meets Ruth Reichl—Tara Dairman’s charming sequel to All Four Stars brings Gladys Gatsby to summer camp.

In this charming sequel to All Four Stars, eleven-year-old foodie Gladys Gatsby now has her first published review under her belt and is looking forward to a quiet summer of cooking and reviewing. But her plans quickly go awry when her friend Charissa Bentley delivers Gladys’s birthday gift: a free summer at Camp Bentley. As Gladys feared, camp life is not easy: she struggles to pass her swim test and can’t keep the other campers happy while planning lunches. The worst part is she can’t seem to sneak away for her latest assignment—finding the best hot dog in New York City. Could this summer be the end Gladys’s reviewing career?

“A scrumptious gem of a story!”—Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times bestselling author of The False Prince for All Four Stars



“Gladys Gatsby might be only twelve-years-old but she is wise beyond her years, especially when it comes to anything food related. Having accidentally become the newest restaurant critic for the New York Standard newspaper, Gladys has entrusted just two of her friends, not her parents or the food section editor, with her secret identity. Planning to spend her school vacation reviewing and cooking exotic food, Gladys is not thrilled to receive the birthday gift of a summer spent at the summer day camp owned by a friend’s family. Adding salt to the wound, Gladys then receives an email changing her restaurant assignments. Now Gladys has been given the job of finding the best hot dog vendor in New York City, an impossible and thankless task—but if anyone can do it, Gladys can. This may be the second book to feature Gladys and her friends, but readers will be able to start with this title and not be confused. Gladys’s ability to keep her restaurant reviewing a secret, her prowess in the kitchen, and her almost instant connection with a teen heartthrob who happens to attend the same day camp, may not be realistic but it is these unique elements that create a truly entertaining story. A quest for an outstanding hot dog that blossoms into a family bonding experience, the real sense of understanding felt between old and new friends, plus plenty of humorous mishaps along the way should appeal to younger middle school students looking for a quick read during summer break.”
Reviewer: Stacey Hayman; Ages 11 to 14.
VOYA, April 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 1)

“Gr 4–6—The young gourmand and secret food critic for the New York Standard is back. Summer has arrived and it’s Gladys’s 12th birthday. As a birthday gift, Gladys’s rich, snobbish friend Charissa offers her a position as a counselor-in-training (CIT) at the exclusive day camp run by her parents. At the camp, Gladys is assigned to work in the kitchen, which would have been wonderful except that she and the cook have opposing ideas about what makes a good lunch—with hilarious results. The camp also has a celebrity CIT, 12-year-old best-selling author Hamilton Herbertson. He’s just a loud-mouthed know-it-all to Gladys, although a cute one, until he begins to let her see another side of him. There’s also a very strange assignment for the Standard from Gladys’ editor who has just gone on an extended vacation and can’t be reached. Gladys’s job is to find the best hot dog in the five boroughs. Could a jealous rival restaurant critic have something to do with this? Though a sequel to All Four Stars (2014), this book stands on its own. The main characters are maturing and becoming multidimensional. The author delivers the subtle message that people are not always what they seem at first. VERDICT Give this one to foodies as well as readers looking for a fun summer tale.”
—Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC
—School Library Journal