From School Library Journal
Grade 7–9—Sixteen-year-old Sameera Righton, nicknamed "Sparrow," is the adopted Pakistani daughter of the Republican candidate for president and his activist wife. When her father wins the nomination and his campaign begins in earnest, his staff decides to make her over. At first, she is delighted with her fabulous new hair, makeup, and clothes, but then the staffers try to get dark-skinned Sameera to appear more "American" and more appealing to voters. They change her name to "Sammy," coach her on how to behave in public and answer questions from the press, and, worst of all, manufacture a custom blog for her. Although she sincerely wants to help her father, Sameera does not accept everything unquestioningly. She becomes involved with a group of South Asian Republican students and begins her own blog, which takes on tough political issues and eventually displaces the vapid official blog produced by her father's staff. The book concludes with Sameera becoming the first South Asian American to live in the White House. Perkins does touch on some of the unpleasant racial issues associated with political campaigns, but the portrayal of the presidential campaign is highly idealized, with no negative ads or smear tactics. However, Sameera is a savvy and appealing character, and while teen girls will love reading about her makeover, they will also come away with a sense of the demands made on those who are constantly in the public eye.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
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"The inside scoop on the celeb life" is at the center of this fast, funny novel about Sameera, 16, whose dad is the popular Republican candidate for American president. Adopted at age 3 from a Pakistani orphanage, she has spent most of her life as a diplomat's daughter. Now she is in the U.S. on a crazy ride in the public eye, hounded by the press, who ask about her "foreignness." The ethnic-identity issues are part of the story. She connects with other Southeast Asians in Washington, D.C., who are as American as she is, and she is also right at home on her loving grandmother's Midwest dairy farm. Her father's handlers buy her the right clothes, and she loves the stiletto heels they ask her to wear, but she hates the blog they write for her, which is intended to sell her cute image. She maintains her own sharp, smart, and honest blog with her friends, and both the public and private worlds depicted here will grab readers. A sequel is planned. Rochman, Hazel Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved