Not Starring Zadie Louise (Hardcover)

Not Starring Zadie Louise By Joy McCullough Cover Image
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In this “entertaining and moving” (Kirkus Reviews) middle grade novel that’s perfect for fans of Tim Federle and Gordon Korman, Zadie is determined to spend the summer helping at the community theater—but things go hilariously awry!

Zadie loves Tae Kwon Do, comic books, and outer space. She also loves visiting the community theater that her mom runs, especially the lighting grid over the stage and the stage manager’s booth, which is filled with levers and buttons like a spaceship control panel. So when the family’s finances suffer a blow and Zadie has to give up her usual activities to spend the summer at the theater, she doesn’t mind too much. After all, she’s always wanted to tech a show.

She knows she’d be great at it, but her mom and the new stage manager are totally opposed to the idea of having a kid do tech. Instead, Zadie’s stuck handing out snacks and folding flyers. But the future of the theater rides on this show, and Zadie is determined to help. She’s going to make Spinderella the hit of the season—unless she accidentally turns it into a disaster.

About the Author

Joy McCullough writes books and plays from her home in the Seattle area, where she lives with her husband and two children. She is the author of the middle grade novels Across the Pond, A Field Guide to Getting LostNot Starring Zadie LouiseCode Red, and Basil & Dahlia and the picture books Harriet’s Ruffled Feathers, Champ and Major: First Dogs, and The Story of a Book. Her debut novel Blood Water Paint was longlisted for the National Book Award and was a William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist. Visit her at

Praise For…

"McCullough adeptly gives voice to a plucky, STEM-focused bicultural girl growing up in an intergenerational family whose members work through their problems together. . . An entertaining and moving story about family, friendship, and finding your place." 
— Kirkus Reviews

"Employing Beezus and Ramona–like family dynamics surrounding financial worries, sibling spats, and a significant transition involving a beloved family member, McCullough writes a relatable fish-out-of-water story, centering themes of passion and perseverance amid life change." 

— Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9781534496231
ISBN-10: 1534496238
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 21st, 2022
Pages: 256
Language: English