Potter, Ellen. Pish Posh. Philomel Books, 2006. ISBN 0399239952. $15.99. 166 p.
Reviewer: Mary Chapman
Reading Level: Intermediate
Genre: Detective and Mystery Stories; Fantasy Fiction; Humorous Stories;
Subject: Restaurants--Juvenile fiction; Snobs and Snobbishness--Juvenile fiction; New York (N.Y.)--Juvenile Fiction; Books--Reviews;
Snobbish, wealthy 11-year-old Clara Frankofile has everything, including her own New York penthouse apartment with its own treehouse, rollercoaster, and beach! Her parents are the owners of the Pish Posh restaurant - the most fashionable restaurant in New York City. Clara has a knack for determining who is a Somebody and who is a Nobody, and it's her job to keep the Nobodies out of the Pish Posh. One night Clara observes that Dr. Piff, a Pish Posh regular, has become a Nobody and tells him to leave the restaurant. Before he goes, Dr. Piff confronts Clara to inform her that she isn't as observant as she thinks and that there is a mystery at the Pish Posh that she is completely overlooking. This revelation sets Clara on the road of discovery about herself and her family as well about what is happening under her nose at the Pish Posh. Some might think Potter's story is a bit over the top and unbelievable, but I found it clever and imaginative as well as humorous. There are some poignant moments in the story where Clara learns about the importance of human relations and the dangers of hasty judgments. The novel also comments on our society's crazy pursuit for popularity and our worship of those who achieve some level of fame and celebrity.
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