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Somewhere in the universe, there is the perfect tune for you. It's almost the end of middle school, and Charlie has to find her perfect song for a music class assignment. The class learns about a...
Somewhere in the universe, there is the perfect tune for you. It's almost the end of middle school, and Charlie has to find her perfect song for a music class assignment. The class learns about a...
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Description-

  • Somewhere in the universe, there is the perfect tune for you.

    It's almost the end of middle school, and Charlie has to find her perfect song for a music class assignment. The class learns about a different style of music each day, from hip-hop to metal to disco, but it's hard for Charlie to concentrate when she can't stop noticing her classmate Emile, or wondering about Luka, who hasn't been to school in weeks. On top of everything, she has been talked into participating in an end-of-year performance with her best friends.

    Then, the class learns about opera, and Charlie discovers the music of Maria Callas. The more she learns about Maria's life, the more Charlie admires her passion for singing and her ability to express herself fully through her music. Can Charlie follow the example of the ultimate diva, Maria Callas, when it comes to her own life?

    This evocatively illustrated graphic novel brilliantly captures the high drama of middle school by focusing on the desire of its finely drawn characters to sing and be heard.

About the Author-

  • Kyo Maclear is a beloved author of books for children and adults. Her recent children's books include Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli, illustrated by Julie Morstad, Yak and Dove, illustrated by Esmé Shapiro, and The Liszts, illustrated by Júlia Sardà. She lives in Toronto with her two sons, two cats and a singer.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 27, 2019
    Taking on friendships, crushes, cliques, and music culture, Maclear offers an honest, deeply respectful look at what is at the core of belonging and isolation for teenagers. Charlie Noguchi narrates her middle-school existence through the lens of her music teacher’s assignment to “choose a song for this moment in your life and write about it.” She pines for Emile, a quiet aspiring entomologist, and wonders about the mysterious prolonged absence of Luka, a femme boy who sings like an angel and once disturbed kids and adults at school with his unapologetic fabulousness (“All the boys who acted like they didn’t care about anything saw him singing like he cared about everything,” Charlie observes). Lush illustrations by Eggenschwiler (Coyote Tales) are color coded—yellow for Charlie, blue for Luka, and red for Maria Callas, the singer Charlie claims for her own and whose biography is threaded through the present-day story. When Charlie, Emile, Luka, and friends find the courage to express themselves together, their music creates a rainbow. With poetic words and pictures, Maclear and Eggenschwiler create a synesthetic experience that captures all the high and low notes of youth. Ages 10–14.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from April 1, 2019

    Gr 5-8-Two months before middle school graduation, Charlotte (Charlie) Noguchi and the rest of class 8C have one final assignment-to find the soundtrack of their lives, a song that has meaning for them. Their music teacher Mr. K introduces them to different styles, including metal, pop, rap, jazz, emo, and opera. Yellow tones dominate these sections of the book with realistic, detailed, eye-catching art and cross hatching that adds dimension. Breaking up the main plot, Charlie shares her story from behind the empty desk in her class. Yellow switches dramatically to blue for flashback scenes. A lone desk is shown in the middle of the panel framed by Charlie's hair, giving it the appearance of theater curtains parting. Luka, with his long shiny hair and beautiful singing voice, left school after singing a song to Emile. Charlie seems to like Emile but is also worried about Luka and hopes he'll come back to school. Colored in red, Charlie also discusses famed opera singer and diva Maria Callas. Drawn to her music and life story, Charlie researches Callas for her final project. A bibliography with further reading about the singer is included at the end of the graphic novel. VERDICT Brimming with raw emotion, music references, and gorgeous art, this memorable and relatable graphic novel will linger with readers.-Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2019
    The rules: "Do not draw too much attention." And "always look bored."Using spare, well-chosen words and muted primary colors, Maclear and Eggenschwiler cleverly weave together story, visual art, and music. Charlotte "Charlie" Noguchi, one of three Asian girls in her school, navigates the everyday, hormonal-driven drama of middle school by these rules until a new, white transfer student, Luka, joins their music class and she is introduced to the opera diva María Callas. As she observes and learns more about these individuals, Charlie is forced to question if it is better to be a nobody or to face criticism and rejection for standing out. The primary colors not only deliberately separate storylines (yellow for spring, blue for the previous fall, and red for María Callas' time), but also serve as visual cues to highlight things left unsaid in text, such as an empty blue desk or a choice of red lipstick. Quite a bit of music history is explored here as well, as the students learn about different music genres while gearing up for the year-end performance showcase. Other than explicitly pointing out Charlie and her friends as Asian, race and ethnicity are not central to this story. Casual homophobia, however, is touched upon as Luka boldly draws attention and slurs with his long hair, outré fashion, and unselfconscious singing.Clever and contemplative, with music history readers might find unexpectedly fun. (bibliography) (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 15, 2019
    Grades 5-8 *Starred Review* With swirling, artful visuals and a thoughtful approach to middle-school emotions, this tender, quiet graphic novel follows Charlie and her friends as they work on a music class project and, more deeply, consider their own friendships and identities. When her music teacher, Mr. K, asks his students to find one song that speaks to who they are, Charlie is stumped until she hears an aria performed by Maria Callas. As she listens to more opera, she finds an outlet for the feelings she's tried to keep stifled?worry about a classmate who stopped coming to school, a crush on a quiet boy others don't seem to understand, pride in herself, and empathy and compassion for those around her. It's a revelation beautifully depicted in Eggenschwiler's thick-lined artwork with warm, jewel-toned accent colors, which does an excellent job of capturing the emotional tenor of each scene; for instance, a cloud of butterflies engulfing Charlie's crush. In addition to the gorgeous visual lexicon, the story beautifully touches on the powerful emergence of strong feelings that happens in middle school and the various ways tweens either embrace those emotions or project their discomfort in cruelty. Opera is an unusual but pitch-perfect match for that swell of overwhelming feeling, and Maclear and Eggenschwiler fold it into the story perfectly. A poignant, pithy, and arrestingly illustrated story.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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    Groundwood Books Ltd
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