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A Crooked Kind of Perfect Paperback – April 6, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"What a generous spirit behind this book: one that celebrates the crooked quirks of its characters. I love Zoe's parents and her friend Wheeler, but most especially I love Zoe. She's perfect, in the most deliciously crooked kind of way."--Sharon Creech, Newbery Medal-winning author of Walk Two Moons
"An impressive and poignant debut novel . . . filled with hope and humor."--School Library Journal
"Immediately engaging . . . Zoe’s world is drawn with sometimes painful precision, her emotions are revealed with empathy, and her story unfolds realistically, without the miracles she hopes for, but with small, sometimes surprising changes . . . sometimes funny, sometimes tender, this is a promising debut."--Booklist
"Short, funny chapters full of exaggeration and exasperation provide lots of laughs . . . Readers with their own dreams, weird obsessions, and quirky hobbies will be heartened by the message that a few bumps, compromises, and sour notes along the way can pay off in a major key."--The Bulletin
Top Customer Reviews
Zoe has dreams you know. Dreams of owning a gorgeous piano, all shiny and black. Of performing before vast adoring audiences. Of being a prodigy and admired by people like her classically inclined mother. So what does she get instead? An organ. A Perfectone D-60 if you want to be precise. And it's not as if her school life is much of an improvement either. Her former best friend Emma Dent has informed her that Joella Tinstella is now her best friend right now, and to top it all off that bully Wheeler Diggs has somehow managed to ingratiate himself into her family. So when Zoe enters the Perform-O-Rama competition for organs she doesn't expect much. Fortunately for her, she finds that people can surprise you when you least expect them to. Sometimes for the bad, but also sometimes for the good.Read more ›
There is much to like about this book. The writing is deceptively simple, with short paragraphs, and plenty of white space. At one point there is a chapter that only has one six-word sentence on the page. This is not a book that would intimidate an eight year old. And yet, Linda Urban manages to pack multiple levels of meaning into every sentence. She is a master of show, don't tell, and of presenting fully realized, three-dimensional characters. Her word selection is so perfect that the book almost feels like a verse novel (though it clearly isn't). Here is an example:
The senior center had one piano, and it was not grand. It was an almost-upright. It leaned to one side. I guessed it had been donated by a school because there were initials carved into its legs, and if you lifted the yellow scarf off the top, you could read all about a Mrs. Pushkin who smelled like fish. The bench was bowed from years of supporting senior citizen backsides. (Page 10)
I love: "It was an almost-upright".Read more ›
Zoe Elias, a would-be piano prodigy, ends up not with a baby grand piano at Carnegie Hall but with a sighing, cha-cha, oompa organ at the Perform-O-Rama. Zoe's voice is funny and touching and true, as she paints the picture of her ten-year-old life. A coin-counting mother who works all the time. A father who's afraid to leave the house (but makes a mean maple tart). A best friend who ditches her. And that organ....
This book made me laugh out loud on the couch so many times my son put down THE LIGHTNING THIEF to listen for a while. It's a fantastic example of how a great middle grade book can turn the every day trials of a kid into an amazing story, just like Zoe makes music from whatever life dishes out to her.
I teach middle school, and sometimes I find that I have more choices for my readers who like edgy YA stories than I do for those kids who read well but aren't quite ready for teenager issues. A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT is a perfect kind of book for those readers, and I'm so happy I'll have it for them when school starts in a few weeks.
A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT, by Linda Urban, is one of those special, rare books.
It's a book about dreams, about family and friends, about music, and about making the most of what you've got.
The voice, the characters, the story - I loved it all. When I was done reading, I e-mailed the author and told her I would be heart-broken if this book doesn't win a bunch of awards. It really is that special.
I know a couple of girls who will be getting a copy of this book for their birthday in the next couple of months. I can't wait to share Zoe's story with them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Once again, I have no idea why I chose this book, except that I'm into YA at the moment (I can't seem to concentrate on weightier fare these days) and I too once had dreams of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by dSavannah
Just loved it: Greqt story line. Incredibly real. You won't want to put it down and you'll be sad when it's over!!!Published 2 months ago by Gina
This book is great!! I love it SO MUCH. Its about an 11 year old girl like me. She wants to play piano but instead of buyi g a piano, her father fell in love with the organ… and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by McClure8388
Very good pre teen book. Easy to understand and tells a good message. Linda Urban captured the true meaning of a young girl's personality.Published 8 months ago by Tracy Smith
This book was interesting and some of it was 'laugh out loud? funny. I enjoyed it. I think my grand daughter will find it interesting in a year or so. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Stella Runyon
I got this book and I loved it! It's one of my favorite books! It has comedy in the book also. (Which everyone likes comedy!) I completely rec emend this book. Read morePublished 8 months ago by VG
Great book! Easy read, good read-aloud for kids good plot nice internal, and external conflict. It could use more references to its title. Loved it!Published 9 months ago by Sylvia Ferrell