________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 14. . . . December 8, 2017


Shawn Mendes: Ultimate Fan Book.

Malcolm Croft
London, UK: Carlton Books (Distributed in Canada by Thomas Allen & Son), 2017.
63 pp., hardcover, $15.95.
ISBN 978-1-78097-958-8.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

**˝ /4



2016 is the year when Shawn Mendes became the megastar he deserves to be. He recorded his first, six-second Vine video in his bedroom, and since then has ascended to the role of the cool Prince of Pop in just three years. His highly praised second album, Illuminate, was released in September 2016 and showcases an amazing blend of melody, maturity and musicianship. It is the singer’s defining achievement so far. The sky is no longer the limit for the multitalented star, who is currently bursting through the clouds toward world domination.


The last three years have been a whirlwind for 19-year-year-old Canadian musician Shawn Mendes. These years are the focus of this independent and unofficial fan book by Croft. Although there is no table of contents or bibliography, this book is broken down into 12 sections, with each being a couple pages in length. They show his early performances in front of crowds that get increasingly larger in size, the makings of his hit songs, the awards he’s won, and details about his latest album. Social media played a big part in his rise to fame, and he talks about who influenced him to take up song writing. Side boxes include his top 10 tweets of 2016, track names, statistics about sales and his popularity, and his favourite music videos. Although Mendes is from Canada, a lot of the photographs show him performing or interacting with fans outside of the country.

     Many of the photographs in this book come from Getty Images, and Shutterstock so they may have already been seen by fans, and the typeface is hard to read because the size is small, the colour is light and the text often appears against a patterned or dark background. The information provided doesn’t delve into the singer’s past, his family, or on anything significant, such as schooling, jobs, or friendships before he became well know. There are quotes inside about him finding his hometown in Ontario “suffocating”, and the writing when describing the singer is a little over-the-top. He doesn’t come across as humble or appreciative of his beginnings. There is also a lot of name dropping; who he’s been seen with, performed with, and quotes from celebrities about him. I think ardent fans will be disappointed in Shawn Mendes: Ultimate Fan Book.

Recommended with Reservations.

Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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