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Emiko Superstar (Minx) Paperback – October 14, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Author Tamaki and artist Rolston offer a light but charming fantasy for awkward girls everywhere. Emiko, a half-Japanese, half-Caucasian Canadian, is a self-described geek facing a summer of babysitting and isolation. Things change when she stumbles upon an underground performing art scene inspired by Andy Warhols Factory. She eventually takes to the stage, dressed in her grandmothers mod outfits from the 60s, and achieves minor celebrity. Soon, though, Emiko must face the troubling complexities in the lives of her new friends and the consequences of her own questionable actions. The book offers many of the hallmarks of female coming-of-age tales, including a sensitive romantic interest, betrayal, concern about popularity and the difficult recognition that adult life is not as black and white as one may hope. Unique and modern touches, however, help set the book apart, such as the references to Warhol, ruminations on the nature of art and a lesbian subplot. Rolstons playful, vibrant b&w illustrations bring the characters to life; in particular, Emikos sweet, expressive face conveys her wild swings of emotions as the story progresses. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 8 Up—Readers first meet Emiko as a "glammed up" Asian-Canadian teen returning home. Cinderella-like, her fishnet-stocking feet are missing one of her high heels as she tiptoes into the house, flops down on her bed, and texts "How wyrd it is that 1 summer can chg everythg." The story seamlessly transitions into Emily's recollections of the events that changed her from a teen geek to a superstar. While shopping at the mall, she encounters Poppy advertising a "Freak Show" on Friday night. Emily attends, and, mesmerized by the atmosphere and people she meets, makes the decision to try out for a performance. Dressed in her grandmother's 1960s go-go girl dress and using her grandmother's name, Emi decides to "borrow" her act from the woman who employs her as a babysitter. Using a diary, in which this suburban mother records the misery of her life and her desire to leave her husband for a lover in New York City, Emiko takes the stage and is a hit. She enjoys her life in the spotlight, but her guilt at using these purloined and painful confessions for the entertainment of others becomes apparent with the author's skillful use of text strike-outs of Emi's rationalized recollections. These strike-outs decrease as she becomes more honest with herself. When the show is closed by the police, Emi packs up her grandmother's clothing and decides to find her own voice.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 8 and up
  • Series: Minx
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Minx; First Edition edition (October 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140121536X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401215361
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy on January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
This was the second last of the 12 MINX graphic novels that I was able to track down and read. It is one of the best in the series. It is the story of a young girl who does not follow all her friends off to business camp. Who borrows the words of another woman to learn to find her own voice. Emiko is staying home this summer; she is babysitting after being fired as a whipping girl at a coffee bar. She is invited to a Freak Show at a placed called the Factory. At first she goes, but then she auditions and makes the act. Wearing some of her grandmothe's old clothes she finds a new person inside and spends the summer exploring who she really wants to be.

This story is fantastic - the writing, the concept and the artwork. I reread it immediately and know I will reread it again and again. The short-lived MINX graphic novel line was supposed to feature stories about strong women and girls and be quality graphic novels for young women. I plan on keeping the whole series set aside for my daughters for when they are older, but I will probably pull this one and a few of the others out from time to time to reread.
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By Brittany Moore VINE VOICE on November 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
Emiko didn't start off as a superstar. She started off as just a girl with a summer job. Was a whip girl then a babysitter. This was before she saw Poppy in the mall. After that Emiko went to go see the Freaks and what a sight they were. She meets a guy named Henry that tells her she can fall in with that crowd to, if she only tries and wows. So she tries, because she wants to create something. Emiko wants to find herself and the freaks might just help her.

This was an interesting little tale about a crazy place. The Factory is a fantastic concept and it was crazy seeing all the different things that people came up with to perform. Like hula-hooping, whoda thunk? There was a lot of sad parts in this story, divorce, wrong lover, bad lovers all sorts. But there was a lot of hope and inspiration too. Emiko found out a lot about herself and how to live life. Sometimes we have to do stuff that sucks, we have to do more of the things we love if we're going to make it through. Definitely pick this one up if you dig art and stuff ;)

First Line:
"Emiko Superstar. The more I think about it... ...the more I think this story should start with something about Andy Warhol."
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By lisa on August 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The main character carries the story and really has you rooting for her by the end. She has strong roots but a drive to be different in a very stringent society.
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By Rick on April 10, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
arrived quickly. Just as described.
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