Beth Johnson
March 01, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

Little Miss Dynamite: The Life and Times of Brenda Lee

Current Status
In Season
Julie Clay, Brenda Lee, Robert K. Oermann
Nonfiction, Biography

We gave it a C+

Long before LeAnn and Britney, there was Brenda Lee. At age 11, already supporting her family, the tiny girl with the huge voice was the youngest-ever Vegas headliner. By the early ’60s, she had become a teen superstar with hits such as ”I’m Sorry” and ”Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Along the way, she befriended a Who’s Who of pop, was ripped off by her manager, and re-created herself as a country star. So there should be a more compelling story in Little Miss Dynamite. Lee scatters vivid tidbits throughout (a young John Lennon pees out of hotel windows onto fans!), but she and her cowriters (including daughter Clay) have written a book so full of earnest research that more often it reads like a family’s vanity-press history.

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