Thursday, May 12, 2016

X Child Stars

X Child Stars: Where Are They Now? by Kathy Garver, Fred Ascher
Taylor Trade Publishing: 4/15/16
eBook review copy; 240 pages
ISBN-13: 9781630761134 

X Child Stars: Where Are They Now? by Kathy Garver, Fred Ascher is a highly recommended guide that answers the titular question. The entries are short and succinct, which allows many, many entries and coverage of a large number of TV shows. The book covers forty years of television history, starting with early shows from the 1950's, such as "I Love Lucy" and "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" through to more recent series from the 1980's, like "The Wonder Years," "Growing Pains," and "Rosanne."

Each entry has how many seasons, the number of episodes were made, the network, if it was in black and white or color, the debut date and the ending date. This is followed by a brief description of the show, some entries have a cast photo from the show, and then a concise summary of what life held for each the child stars afterward the show ended. There are some stories of great success and accomplishments later in life, like Ron Howard. There are many stars that left acting and went on to pursue other activities as adults. And there are some tragedies. Many children struggled with making the transition after their show ended and turned to drugs or alcohol. Many handled the transition with much more ease.

Many of these childhood stars know each other, so there are anecdotal references and personal comments about some of the individuals. Kathy Garver was Cissy on "Family Affair" so she knows the subject and many of the people included in this guide. This is a fun, quick look at many child stars from a forty year span. Do expect brief summations; don't expect current photos or in depth entries.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Taylor Trade Publishing for review purposes.

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