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Vin and the Dorky Duet Kindle Edition
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More About the Author
Well, the bit about being a spy is true. It was a long time ago in a far off land, lots of fun, and planets away from my middle-class upbringing in the UK. I was born in a little coal-mining town in South Wales and properly brought up in England where I did English things like attending an all-girls grammar school, playing rounders, doing two hours of homework every day, and going on soggy caravan holidays with my family. I also trained as a classical pianist, which meant annoying family and neighbors with daily four-hour practices.
Once I grew up--wait, that's a fib; I've never actually grown up--I experimented with hedonism in Paris, where, among other things, I taught English to very proper French schoolgirls, and I failed to abide by the British embassy's social rules in Romania, but that's another story. My job in Bucharest was to appease visiting Royal Ballet dancers. If you've ever attempted to herd butterflies, you'll know what I mean. Soon after that I gravitated to the USA because the streets there were supposed to be paved with gold. They weren't, but I stayed anyway and finally wound up catching my breath in a tranquil fishing and farming community on Virginia's coast.
The rest of my so-called professional life has been a regal zigzag through a motley variety of careers from orchestral management to law-firm media relations to academic editing, all of which entailed a lot of writing and editing. Although that work brought me plenty of satisfaction, it didn't produce the kind of magic that can come from writing fiction and nonfiction for children.
Children's literature has always fascinated me. My parents read bedtime stories to me when I was a child and I read stories to my son when he was small. All I needed was an excuse to borrow books from the children's library, and declaring myself to be a children's writer did the trick. Studying the work of great children's writers gives me the chance to indulge my love of that enchanting mix of innocence, escapism, imagination, and humor that bubbles out of children's literature.
Top Customer Reviews
What a wonderfully-written story! It's up there with all the children's funny favourites - Francesca Simon, Nick Sharratt and Jeremy Strong. This has some real laugh-out-loud moments as Vin attempts to pull off his sister's devious plan to attach himself to the class nerd in order to get to his hunky older brother... with the promise of a David Beckham top as a reward.
It's often difficult to find children's fiction which will appeal to boys as well as girls. This definitely hits the mark and would be great as a read alone book as well as a story for adults and children to share.
So, utilizing an irresistible bribe, Meg forces Vin to engineer circumstances whereby he and Binkley meet and develop a common interest so Vin can hook up somehow with Brad to sell him on the duet. The duet is for piano and trumpet and is written by Meg, of whose talents as a music composer Vin has serious doubts. There is a time limit of several days to give Meg and her trumpeter time to practice for the recital.
The plot, of course, thickens and Vin's contrivances for the most part fail. However, just in time, Vin realizes that Binkley is much more than a nerd. Binkley is a talented percussionist and possesses much more character and insight than one expects for a nerd.Read more ›
Vin has five days to accomplish the job--operation BS (Brad Stewart)--or the deal is off and he has to play the duet. He gets lucky when he and Eyeballs are assigned do work on a science project about whales together. His hope is to go to the Stewart house to study with Eyeballs and talk to Brad about Meg's proposal. However, a number of situations arise which interfere with Vin's achieving his goal. He is waylaid by an exploding fish tank. He is attacked by a neighbor's compost heap. He is almost drowned in an ever-expanding bubble bath. And he is captured by a giant plastic duck. Will Vin succeed in his goal? Will he ever find an opportunity to talk with Brad? And even if he does, what will Brad say about playing the duet?
Vin and the Dorky Duet, which is identified as a "middle grade adventure novella," is a madcap romp through one week in the life of a hapless but always ingenious seventh-grader. Some parents might wish to know that there are a few childish slang terms.Read more ›
From page one of Vin and the Dorky Duet Vin's in a bit of a dilemma...actually he's in a huge dilemma. And it's all big sister Meg's fault. She wants him to do a duet with her at the student concert. Vin can't think of anything worse. The last time he did a duet with his sister it was a huge disaster. The only way he can get out of playing the trumpet is if he gets the popular and dreamy-looking Brad Stewart to do it instead (Meg just so happens to have a crush on Brad). This is no easy challenge. Vin and Meg hardly know Brad. Their one and only connection to Meg's dream boy is his younger brother, Eyeballs Stewart, who happens to be in several of Vin's classes. Eyeballs is a nerd and Vin's not happy about the prospect of making friends with him. But Meg has promised she'll give Vin the David Beckham jersey if he can get her Brad. So Vin starts hatching a brilliant plan - he calls it Operation BS. Actually, the plan doesn't work out as brilliantly as Vin expects. Things go very wrong very quickly. Vin handing over eyeballs a gooey keyring is only the start of Vin's troubles!
Vin and the Dorky Duet made me laugh several times. It's wonderfully written and has the potential to reach the funny favourite list of children's books. It's Horrid Henry meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid - several more books about Vin and his hilarious shenanigans could emerge in the future (I hope so anyway!).
I read the book in one day.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is listed as a middle grade adventure and it does read that way. However Maggie Lyons has a talent for weaving a tale aimed at young people that is just as entertaining... Read morePublished on August 28, 2013 by Lady Bug Lin
Jeff Kinney move over. Maggie Lyons is here with her hilarious kid's novel about a boy trying to get his older sister in with the hunk of her class - only problem is, it's through... Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by unicorngirl
Vin did NOT want to play a duet with his sister Meg in the school concert (Vin plays the trumpet and Meg plays the piano). Read morePublished on March 2, 2013 by This Kid Reviews Books
What do you do when your sneaky sister wants you to play a duet with her in front of the entire school? Read morePublished on February 2, 2013 by Kristi Bernard
Vin and the Dorky Duet is a relateable story most children will be able to relate to, especially if they have siblings to contend with. Read morePublished on September 6, 2012 by Children's Book Reviewer
VIN AND THE DORKY DUET has given Maggie Lyons the perfect opportunity to write about two things she obviously knows a lot about: music and middle grade kids. Read morePublished on August 30, 2012 by Barbara Bockman
Take your average trumpet blowing kid and give him a sneaky older sister wanting his help. Add in a forced friendship with a nerd named Eyeballs, the promise of a David Beckham... Read morePublished on August 28, 2012 by C. Mayovsky
In his quest to obtain an autographed David Beckham soccer jersey, 12 year old Vin must satisfy his sister Meg's desire to meet the handsome and talented high school trumpeter... Read morePublished on July 9, 2012 by Pat H