Claim to Fame
Goodreads ratings
3.54 / 5

"Claim to Fame" Summary

By Margaret Peterson Haddix

young adult | 272 pages | Published in NaN

Lindsay Scott hit the big time at age five, when she became the star of the television show "Just Me and the Kids." It seemed like she was set for life--until she had a nervous breakdown when she was eleven, because Lindsay had suddenly developed a very dangerous sense of ESP--the ability to hear what anyone was thinking about here, at any time, anywhere in the world. Lindsay's father whisked her away to her long-gone mother's house in small town Springdale, and Lindsay was amazed to discover that within the four walls of the house, she can't hear anything out of the ordinary. And so Lindsay has stayed hidden in the house, safe from other people's thoughts, doing her best to stay out of sight and let the world forget her. When the tabloids print a "where are they now" story about her, claiming that Lindsay's maniacal father has kept her imprisoned in her house for the past five years, a couple of well-meaning teens attempt to "rescue" Lindsay. For the first time in five years, Lindsay is outside the protective quiet of her house. And that's when she hears the one voice she never expected to hear: her mother's. When she discovers that perhaps her mother didn't leave voluntarily, she has a choice to make: will she risk everything to find the truth about her past--and the source of her ability?


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A teenage girl discovers she is the long-lost daughter of a famous Hollywood actress, leading her on a journey of self-discovery and navigating the complexities of fame.


In "Claim to Fame" by Margaret Peterson Haddix, readers are taken on a thrilling journey through the world of celebrity and the lengths people will go to achieve fame. This gripping young adult novel explores the consequences of fame and the importance of staying true to oneself. With its fast-paced plot and relatable characters, "Claim to Fame" is sure to captivate readers from beginning to end.

Brief Synopsis

"Claim to Fame" is set in present-day America, where social media and reality TV dominate the entertainment industry. The story revolves around fifteen-year-old Jennie, an ordinary high school student who dreams of becoming a famous actress. One day, Jennie discovers that she bears an uncanny resemblance to a popular teenage actress named Bethany, who is known for her role in a hit TV show.

Jennie seizes the opportunity and decides to assume Bethany's identity, hoping to experience the fame and attention that comes with being a celebrity. With the help of her best friend, Tina, Jennie embarks on a journey to navigate the glitzy and cutthroat world of Hollywood.

As Jennie becomes entangled in a web of lies and secrets, she must confront the challenges of maintaining her double life. She must also grapple with the moral implications of deceiving the public and the toll it takes on her relationships with those closest to her. The novel explores the themes of identity, authenticity, and the allure of celebrity culture.

Main Characters

Character NameDescription
JennieThe protagonist, a determined and ambitious high school student who assumes the identity of a famous actress
BethanyThe popular teenage actress whom Jennie impersonates
TinaJennie's loyal best friend, who helps her navigate the world of fame
Mr. NelsonJennie's drama teacher, who encourages her acting aspirations

Summary of Story Points

Chapters 1-5: The Discovery

  • Jennie stumbles upon a magazine article featuring Bethany and notices their striking resemblance.
  • She becomes obsessed with the idea of assuming Bethany's identity and experiencing the life of a celebrity.
  • Jennie confides in Tina, who initially discourages her but eventually agrees to help.

Chapters 6-10: The Transformation

  • Jennie and Tina start working on transforming Jennie into Bethany, studying her mannerisms and appearance.
  • They create a fake online presence for Jennie as Bethany, posting pictures and updates to deceive the public.
  • Jennie auditions for a minor role in a popular TV show and lands the part, further fueling her deception.

Chapters 11-15: The Double Life

  • Jennie struggles to maintain her double life, constantly on edge about being exposed.
  • She attends red carpet events, interviews, and fan conventions, experiencing the highs and lows of celebrity life.
  • Jennie's relationships with her family and friends suffer as she becomes consumed by her new identity.

Chapters 16-20: Confronting the Truth

  • A journalist becomes suspicious of Jennie and starts investigating her true identity.
  • Jennie's lies start unraveling, and she is forced to confront the consequences of her actions.
  • She realizes the importance of authenticity and the value of her true self.

Main Events

  1. Jennie discovers her resemblance to Bethany and decides to impersonate her.
  2. Jennie transforms herself into Bethany and starts living a double life.
  3. Jennie experiences the perks and pitfalls of celebrity life, attending glamorous events and facing constant scrutiny.
  4. Jennie's deception begins to unravel, and she faces the consequences of her actions.
  5. Jennie learns the importance of authenticity and the value of her true self.

Themes and Insights

  • The allure of fame and the lengths people will go to achieve it.
  • The consequences of living a double life and the toll it takes on personal relationships.
  • The importance of staying true to oneself and embracing authenticity.
  • The impact of celebrity culture on identity and self-worth.

Reader's Takeaway

"Claim to Fame" is an engaging and thought-provoking novel that explores the dark side of fame and the importance of staying true to oneself. Through the character of Jennie, readers are invited to reflect on the allure of celebrity culture and the consequences of pursuing fame at any cost. This book serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us of the value of authenticity and the power of embracing our true selves.


"Claim to Fame" by Margaret Peterson Haddix is a gripping young adult novel that delves into the world of celebrity and the consequences of pursuing fame. With its relatable characters and themes of identity and authenticity, this book offers readers a captivating and thought-provoking reading experience. Whether you're a fan of young adult fiction or simply interested in exploring the darker side of fame, "Claim to Fame" is a must-read.

Claim to Fame FAQ

  1. What is 'Claim to Fame' about?

    'Claim to Fame' is a young adult novel by Margaret Peterson Haddix. It follows the story of Lindsay Scott, a high school student who discovers that she is the long-lost granddaughter of a famous actress. As Lindsay tries to navigate her new life in the spotlight, she must also uncover the truth about her family's past.

  2. Who is the author of 'Claim to Fame'?

    The author of 'Claim to Fame' is Margaret Peterson Haddix. She is a renowned author of young adult fiction, known for her engaging storytelling and compelling characters.

  3. Is 'Claim to Fame' part of a series?

    No, 'Claim to Fame' is a standalone novel and is not part of a series.

  4. What genre does 'Claim to Fame' belong to?

    'Claim to Fame' belongs to the genre of young adult fiction, specifically targeting teenage readers. It combines elements of contemporary fiction, family drama, and coming-of-age themes.

  5. Is 'Claim to Fame' suitable for all age groups?

    While 'Claim to Fame' is primarily targeted towards teenage readers, it can be enjoyed by readers of various age groups who appreciate young adult fiction.

  6. Are there any reviews available for 'Claim to Fame'?

    Yes, there are several reviews available for 'Claim to Fame' by Margaret Peterson Haddix. You can find them on various book review websites or on the author's official website.

  7. Where can I purchase 'Claim to Fame'?

    You can purchase 'Claim to Fame' online from popular book retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or directly from the publisher's website. It is available in both paperback and e-book formats.

  8. Is 'Claim to Fame' available in audiobook format?

    Yes, 'Claim to Fame' is available in audiobook format. You can find it on platforms like Audible or through your local library's digital lending service.

  9. Does 'Claim to Fame' have any content warnings?

    It is always recommended to check individual book reviews or consult the book's publisher or author for specific content warnings. However, 'Claim to Fame' generally contains themes of family secrets, celebrity culture, and personal identity.

  10. Has 'Claim to Fame' won any awards?

    As of now, 'Claim to Fame' has not won any notable awards. However, Margaret Peterson Haddix has received recognition for her other works in the young adult fiction genre.