The Dragon Whistler

The Dragon Whistler
Now available in paperback.


A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban

Beethovan's barbershop! I loved this book. Maybe it is the 14 years of piano lessons and multiple competitions I was involved in as a child, or being the daughter of a piano teacher, who knows. But I simply adored A Crooked Kind of Perfect (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007).

It's sweet without being sticky, honest, real and quirky. Written for the 8-12 set, Urban captures the voice of a ten-going-on-eleven year old perfectly. 

Zoe wants to play the piano. Truth be told, she wants to play Carnegie Hall -- the ultimate in piano performance experience. But we all know how you get to Carnegie Hall, right?... Practice! (sorry, had to do it). Unfortunately, Zoe's dad has bought her an organ instead. That's right, an organ, complete with rhythm switches and foot pedals and two separate keyboards. (My grandmother had a similar thing when I was a kid and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing around -- this was way before Casios, people!)

But the organ will have to do for Zoe. After all, it does come with six weeks of lessons. Plus, her teacher has suggested she enter the Performa-A-Rama competition, where she could win a trophy!

Zoe deals with the typical 10-year-old girl issues: here today gone tomorrow best friends, the interest of boys, and then there's her mom (who's ALWAYS at work) and her unemployed dad (who has issues of his own, including an addiction to in-home courses and has diplomas for everything from aeronautics to baking on his wall).

I thoroughly enjoyed the audio book version of this, and Tai Alexandra Ricci's performance is stellar. This is one of those books that I'll be buying for gifts. 4 1/2 bookmarks!

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