Susan Lubner
children’s book author

Eleven year old Jermaine wants to be famous: limo-riding, camera-flashing, crowd-waving famous. Since her family isn’t likely to move from Maine to Hollywood so she can become a movie star, she decides she’ll make a reality show about her family and friends. Jermaine quickly realizes that her everyday life is boring; and to kick up her show a notch, she starts staging events to elicit more drama, more excitement, and more humor. Before long she has alienated her best friend, sent her mother packing, and turned an emotional family crisis into a tacky mystery segment. This laugh-aloud debut novel takes a lighthearted look at unbridled ambition, the cult of celebrity, the reality behind reality TV, and the upside of being part of an ordinary family.


The Upside of Ordinary

Holiday House

ISBN-10: 0823424170

ISBN-13: 978-0823424177

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pie-in-the-face comedy…believably depictedJermaine neatly captures her living-in-the-moment, no-holds-barred attitude. This debut novel offers an amusing lesson on the downside of reality television…”

Kirkus Reviews

“In an easygoing story about following one's dreams and appreciating what one has, debut novelist Lubner balances well-staged comedy with Jermaine's thoughtful musings on her family's eccentricities…”

Publishers Weekly

“After her success as Pinocchio in the school play, 11-year-old Jermaine Davidson is determined to become famous in this breezy debut novel...Although readers will see Jermaine’s troubles coming long before she does, the lessons will not be lost. Most effectively, her uncle’s disappearance and the circumstances around it mirror the family’s disappointment—and eventual acceptance—of Jermaine’s mistakes.”

—Angela Leeper, BOOKLIST

“Young readers will relate to Jermaine's authentic voice, her innocence and determination, her attempts to understand the adults in her life, her love/hate relationship with her sister, and her sharp sense of humor.” 

Melissa G. Sweet on Books /ABC7 NEW YORK

“A strong character arc…a strong supporting cast…Susan Lubner has created a tremendous ensemble.”   

—Michael Gettel-Gilmartin, Project Middle Grade Mayhem

“…funny and…touching tale…” 

—Pamela H. Sacks, Worcester Telegram & Gazette

(Read full Review HERE.)

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