By Lucy Frank
Atheneum Books, Hardcover, 9780689859335, 295pp.
Publication Date: July 1, 2005
"I'm not a human jukebox," Kira tells her dad, "or a dancing doll, or a puppet, where you press a button and I'll entertain you " Yet since arriving in New York City, she's had to sing "Amazing Grace" and "Me and Bobby McGee" with him and her two little brothers, Chris and Charlie, for handouts on a subway platform. Singing like an angel. Wanting to stop singing forever.
Jake sings, but only in his dreams. In real life he'll do anything to keep his mouth shut because of his stutter.
Eugene's greatest dream is that the world will laugh with him and not at him. Eugene sings like a foghorn.
Ms. Hill, the school's music teacher, has ambitions for them all.
"My alto section could use some boys," she tells Jake and Eugene after they've been thrown out of the lunchroom for a kimchi incident, and she spots them eyeing her poster:
is there a singer inside you trying to get out? you know you want to sing. join the chorus
"Uh, I don't think that would be us," Eugene says. "We're nonjoiners. Trust me. This works for everyone."
Until Jake meets Kira.
"The author handles the delicate balance between friendship and love with sensitivity and offers a satisfying, realistic conclusion."
-- School Library Journal