Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Crooked Kind of Perfect

Urban, Linda. 2007. A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT. San Diego: Harcourt. ISBN 0152060077 [Suggested Grade Levels 4-7]

A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT is a gem of a book. Our heroine, Zoe Elias, is ten-going-on eleven. She has one dream--a very big dream. She wants to play the piano. The first line of the novel: “I was supposed to play the piano. The piano is a beautiful instrument . . . Elegant. Dignified. A piano is glamorous. Sophisticated. Worldly. It is a wonderful thing to play the piano.” Now here is her description of her reality, “I play the organ. A wood-grained, vinyl-seated, wheeze-bag organ. The Perfectone D-60.” Zoe’s life is far from perfect. She wants to play piano, but she's stuck with an organ. She wants to be playing real music. She's stuck with beginning level songbooks like “Television Themesongs” and “Hits from the Seventies.” Not only are her musical dreams not taking off, but she’s losing her friends as well.

A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT is a book about hopes and dreams, family, and finding friends in unexpected places. Linda Urban has created memorable, authentic characters. The book has it all--moments of happiness, frustration, disappointment, loneliness, and joy-- and plenty of humor.

Zoe has a dream to play the piano. What is your dream? What are you willing to do to make that dream come true?

Choose a scene from the novel and write a monologue or dialogue to perform.

Other books about kids with big dreams:
Blume, Lesley M.M. THE RISING STAR OF RUSTY NAIL. ISBN 0375835245
Kennedy, Marlane. ME AND THE PUMPKIN QUEEN. ISBN 0061140228
Kerley, Barbara. GREETINGS FROM PLANET EARTH. ISBN 0439802032
Murphy, Pat. THE WILD GIRLS. ISBN 067006226X

By Becky Laney

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