I Represent Sean Rosen

Book review by
Joe Applegate, Common Sense Media
I Represent Sean Rosen Book Poster Image
Smart story of a kid pitching a movie idea to Hollywood.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

This first-person tale of a kid's successful "pitch" of a screenplay idea is a primer on the acquistion side of the movie business. It combines technical information (an agent is licensed and charges 10 percent of the artist's income; a manager is not and charges 15), with a good look at the moxie and quick-thinking needed to make things happen.

Positive Messages

Sean is tough and aggressive but shows in many ways how he cares for his family, for kids with other strengths, and for his own self-respect. He refuses to accept unfair treatment from a big-name entertainment company or his French teacher.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lots of stock kids and adults here: the bully, the loner, the shopaholic. They're redeemed by Sean's dad, who's carefully drawn as a man trying to live down a shameful event in his family's past and who reveals his secret at just the moment his son needs to hear it. Sean himself is independent to the point of being secretive.


Several movies are mentioned, including The Bucket List, which Sean dislikes becasue it differs from the movie in his head. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that I Represent Sean Rosen is a very tall tale about an ingenious 13-year-old boy trying to sell a screenplay to Hollywood. Narrator-protagonist Sean is independent to the point of being secretive, never telling his parents what he's up to and masquerading online as the manager of Sean Rosen. Sean and his dad both grapple with keeping secrets. This smart, funny novel is good choice for tweens and teens, especially those with an interest in showbiz.

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What's the story?

Thirteen-year-old Sean Rosen, who lives far from Hollywood, overcomes that and other disadvantages to persuade a big entertainment company to offer him $10,000 for his movie idea. Needing a manager to represent him, he creates one in cyberspace but slips up just when his plan is working perfectly. Meanwhile, his father is hiding a shameful past that comes to light as Sean is dealing with a question of his own integrity.

Is it any good?

A basically good kid achieves an impossible goal -- what's not to like? You've got to admire Sean Rosen's drive and creativity and appreciate the wisdom that finally checks his ambition. The peek at Hollywood's inner workings in I REPRESENT SEAN ROSEN is pretty interesting, though less so his life at school (Sean finds many classes uninteresting). Key plot points surface in emails and texting -- a nice touch. 

There are lots of stock kids and adults here: the bully, the loner, the shopaholic. But Sean's dad is a carefully drawn character struggling with a shameful family secret.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie business and how hard it is to sell a screenplay. What does I Repreprent Sean Rosen say about how Hollywood works? 

  • A Hollywood manager who's also a parent tells Sean that no one under 18 should be in show business. Do you agree?

  • What other showbiz stories have you read? You might want to check out the hilarious movie Big Fat Liar, about an eighth-grade screenwriter in ruthless Hollywood.

Book details

  • Author: Jeff Baron
  • Genre: Humor
  • Topics: Arts and Dance
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books
  • Publication date: March 19, 2013
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 14
  • Number of pages: 352
  • Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: June 20, 2019

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