Over the Top

Over the Top

Alison Hughes


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From an award-winning author Alison Hughes comes a new funny, honest middle grade novel following Diva Cleopatra as she tries to adapt to her new home and school while coming face-to-face with the school's mean girls.

When eleven-year-old Diva Pankowski's family moves, she is horrified (but not surprised) that her mother's new dream home is a bright pink, castle-themed house. She's used to her Mom's excesses; after all, she's lived her whole life with the name "Diva Cleopatra," and her nine-year-old brother deals with "Hero Augustus." But the pink palace is only the beginning of a series of new humiliations. While acting as a glitzy mermaid-mascot for her Mom's party planning business, Diva is spotted by the class mean girls. Then, when she works up the courage to audition for her new school's production of The Wizard of Oz, she's cast in the baffling role of The Yellow Brick Road. But it's DIVAPALOOZA!, the splashy, mammoth-sized, surprise, birthday party her family throws for her (inviting everyone in sixth grade) where things really lurch toward disaster. How on earth can Diva stay true to her quiet, introverted, under-the-radar self in an in-your-face, over-the-top world?


Alison Hughes:
Alison Hughes has published sixteen books for children, some of which have been translated into Dutch, Korean, Turkish and French. In the US, her books have been a Junior Library Guild selection, and listed as best books of the year with both the Bank Street College of Education and Resource Links. She has also had an Honorable Mention and a Young Adult Notable Book citation with the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA).

In Canada, she won the national Writers' Union Writing for Children Award and has been a finalist for Canada's Governor-General's Literary Awards, the Alberta Literary Awards, and nine times for provincial children's choice awards, including Ontario's Silver Birch. Her short fiction has been short- and long-listed for the Writers' Union Short Fiction Competition and the CBC Literary Awards. She currently works as a casual Writing Advisor/Editor for the University of Alberta's Academic Success Centre, gives workshops and presentations at schools, libraries, young author conferences and festivals across the country, and volunteers with child welfare and literacy organizations. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.