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A Crooked Kind of Perfect

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban HMH Books for Young Readers (224p), ages 8-12, ISBN 978-0152066086 This is a laugh-out-loud funny book about a girl who dreams of being a concert pianist at Carnegie Hall, but instead finds herself in a wheeze-bag organ competition. I can’t recommend this one enough. It’s sweet and hilarious at […]

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Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki illustrations by Qin Leng Kids Can Press (32p), ages 4-8, ISBN 978-1894786331 I loved this story about Hana, who wants to perform in her school’s talent show even though she’s an absolute beginner at violin. It’s a terrific story about the value of working hard, but more importantly, the […]

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Band of Angels

Band of Angels by Deborah Hopkinson Aladdin Books (40p), ages 5+, ISBN 978-0689848872 A Band of Angels is a fictional account based on the real story of the Jubilee Singers. The Jubilee Singers began as a 9-member choral ensemble at Fisk University (the very first American university open to African-Americans). When the school, only 5 years […]

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Vanished by Sheela Chari Hyperion Books (336p), ages 8-12, ISBN 978-1423131632  A mystery set in Boston, involving  11-year-old Neela and her missing veena, a cursed instrument sent to her by her grandmother in India. This book gets extra points from me because a) the main character loves music, and b) part of the adventure is set […]

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Swan Lake

Swan Lake by Lisbeth Zwerger story by Pyotr Tchaikovsky North South Books (32pp) ages 6 and up, ISBN 0735817022 Zwerger’s retelling of Tchaikovsky’s ballet is beautiful in every way. The story of a woman who is transformed into a swan by an evil sorceror is simply told, and Zwerger’s paintings are set in muted blues and grays […]

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Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan Scholastic Press, $19.99 (592p), ages 10-14, ISBN 978-0-439-87402-1 I’d been looking forward to reading Echo, and then I won it in a Goodreads giveaway! I adored Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan and have given it away a dozen times to people I love, and I can’t wait to do the same […]

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Learn to Speak Music by John Crossingham

Learn to Speak Music by John Crossingham illus. by Jeff Kulak. Owlkids $27.95 (96p), ages 9-13, ISBN 978-1-897349-65-6 For any kid who’s ever wanted to write a song, start a band, record music, or play a gig…Learn to Speak Music is a book well worth checking out! Read more about this book…   Want to suggest a […]

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The Bear and the Piano

The Bear & the Piano by David Litchfield Clarion, $16.99 (40p), ages 4-7, ISBN 978-0-544-67454-7 This is a gorgeously illustrated book about a bear who learns to play the piano, goes out into the world to share his gifts, then returns home to play for his favorite audience of all. The sunlight in the forest scenes […]

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Marching for Freedom

Marching for Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don’t You Get Weary by Elizabeth Partridge Viking $19.99 (72p), ages 10+, ISBN 978-0-670-01189-6 Truly amazing and historic things can happen when individuals work together. In this book, Elizabeth Partridge writes about one of the great moments in American history: the Civil Rights movement. She tells the true […]

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Sounds Like a Rainbow

Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix by Gary Golio illus. by Javaka Steptoe, Clarion, $16.99 (32p), ages 6-9, ISBN 978-0-618-85279-6 Jimi Hendrix is one of America’s music legends. In the 1960’s he brought new sounds and energy to rock ‘n roll and revolutionized the way people heard and thought about […]

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