By Jane Breskin Zalben
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780375862229, 336pp.)
Publication Date: February 8, 2011
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Allegra Katz has been playing piano since she was four. But these aren't just any piano lessons. She studies at the Julliard School in New York, where careers are being formed—or not.
Between strict practice schedules, music classes, and regular school, Ally doesn't have time for much else. Sometimes she wishes she could break free, but she's never known any other way. Her parents—a professional violinist and a singer—would kill her if they knew she was thinking about quitting piano, especially her mother.
So she keeps on going, but as the months go by, she begins to ask herself, does she even love the piano? Why does she play? And how much longer can she stand the pressure before she breaks?
JANE BRESKIN ZALBEN is the author of several novels, including Unfinished Dreams and Leap, her first novel for Knopf. She is also the author and illustrator the popular Beni and Pearl picture books, as well as many others.
"I devoured Four Seasons in one gulp. Jane Breskin Zalben so convincingly inhabits the psyche of the thirteen-year-old piano prodigy, you might think it was written by a teenager.”—Judith Kogan, author of Nothing but the Best: The Struggle for Perfection at the Julliard School
"A fascinating life lesson--one that resonated with me personally. Sometimes you have to destroy who you are to create the next you. Readers will be captivated by Ally's musical journey, and in her personal journey, they will see themselves. What a great story! I loved the book.”—Gordon Korman, coauthor of the 39 Clues series
"Heartfelt, lyrical, and humorous, with unforgettable, true-to-life characters living lives we don't get to read about every day.”—Judy Blume
"Offering an insider's peek at the competitive world of gifted young performers, where the pressure to be perfect can become all-consuming, this intimate story shows how one middle schooler survives by listening to her heart.”—Publishers Weekly
"Pair this memorable debut with Virginia Euwer Wolff’s classic celebration and acknowledgment of the challenges and opportunities of growing up gifted, The Mozart Season (1991)."—Booklist
"An involving and compassionate story of a young girl in crisis."—The Horn Book