G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Books for Young Readers
April 18, 2023
Ages 10 and up
Pre-order Now! Available April 18, 2023
The Unofficial Lola Bay Fan Club
The intensity of tween fandom collides with the shifting friendship dynamics of middle school as Iris comes to terms with all the ways friendships can be good and bad.
Pop star Lola Bay is everything to Iris and her best friend, Leeza. Her songs speak right to their souls and they can’t wait to start a Lola Bay fan club when middle school starts. But then mean girls take over the fan club and Leeza seems to be interested in other things.
Enter Dana. She’s bold and cool and not afraid to stand up for herself. Plus, she’s a massive Lola Bay fan and knows how to get free merch online. She even has big ideas for getting them to a concert.
When some of Dana’s ideas make Iris a little nervous, she pushes the feelings down—Dana seems to know what she’s doing. Only as Dana’s plans get bigger and bigger, Iris feels worse and worse. And then Dana crosses a line that causes trouble for Iris’s whole family.
How could someone who is supposed to be a friend do that? And, Iris wonders, how did I let things go this far?
“Ardent fandom meets friendship drama. Summertime and the living is easy: It’s peanut butter–and-blueberry jam sandwiches and fun days swimming at the pool for Iris and BFF Leeza. Two besties living across the street from each other, they spent their childhoods side by side, gossiping about and listening to singer Lola Bay. After starting a fan club for their favorite star, the sixth graders connect with seventh grader Dana. This creates a rift between narrator Iris and Leeza, as the former idolizes Dana’s vast body of Lola Bay knowledge, and the latter, less enthralled, decides to get involved in other activities. Further trouble ensues when Dana, who has a controlling personality, convinces Iris to use her mother’s credit card without permission to purchase coveted Lola Bay concert tickets. Things escalate to a crisis point when Dana betrays Iris in a very public way, forcing Iris to face the truth, recognize who really has her back, and stand up for herself. This novel focused on friendship deals with emotional abuse and family ties during the often stressful transition from elementary to middle school. The conversational tone is reader friendly, and many young people will recognize the issues that are explored, from shifting social status to online bullying. Most characters default to White. An accessible relationship-centered novel exploring the perils of tween friendships.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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