duet eliise broach

Ever wish you could be seen? You know, that feeling that you have a really special gift inside you - that makes you "you" - and you want the world to discover it? But maybe you feel a little shy, maybe you feel a little bit afraid it won't quite be good enough? What will it take for you to trust your gift, to believe in yourself, to risk revealing "you" and sharing "you" with the world?

Aha - very important question and one that Elise Broach takes on in this gentle, layered story about a goldfinch and a boy.

Mirabelle is a goldfinch waiting to be discovered. Michael Jin is a boy who has a piano teacher he feels safe with. No matter that Michael has been seen by his mother and by his piano teacher. Michael doesn't feel safe sharing himself and his gift with others. He just isn't ready.

So, when Michael's mother decides to move him to a new piano teacher, Michael refuses to play. He just won't sit down at the piano and touch those keys in front of Mr. Starek, the new piano teacher.

Well, he won't until...... until....... (yep, you'll have to read the book for the rest of this sentence.)

There is wonder in this story. Most of us have seen a goldfinch and realize how small they are. Goldfinches fly as though they are having the best time imaginable. They rise up and they zip down. It's a glorious roller coaster of joy. But they aren't big. They don't look as if they would hold enough power and magic to change lives.

This is a thoughtful, hopeful, sensitive story about a boy gifted with an amazing ability to play the piano, a man who has reached the end of his career, and a bird who brings the light embodied in golden feathers. Our investigator readers will cherish this.

Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com


A musically gifted bird, a piano-playing boy, and a real-life mystery involving three artistic geniuses.

Welcome to the world of Mirabelle, a young goldfinch who loves to sing and dreams of becoming a musical star. She lives with her family in the backyard of a piano teacher, and she is quickly intrigued by Mr. Starek's newest pupil. Michael Jin is an 11-year-old keyboard sensation, but lesson after lesson, he refuses to play. With the prestigious Chopin Festival looming at summer’s end, how will he be ready in time? Mirabelle is responsible for Michael’s breakthrough - to her own astonishment, she sings the Chopin piece he is beginning to play at the piano. It is their first duet.

Thus begins a secret adventure that will take Mirabelle and Michael further than they ever imagined—in music, in friendship, and in solving the mystery of a lost piano that could be worth millions. A house full of treasures holds the clues. There, Mirabelle, Michael, and their friend Emily will make an important discovery that links the great composer Frederic Chopin, the trailblazing author George Sand, and the French Romantic painter Eugene Delacroix.

A fast-paced, history-rich mystery will have young listeners hooked as they root for boy and bird in this beautifully told novel, full of emotion and suspense.---from the publisher

304 pages                                    978-0316311359                                             Ages 9-13

Keywords:  mystery, performing arts, birds, music, musician, friends, friendship, music history, dealing with anxiety, fears, risk, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old

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