Mar 23, 2010

Tween Tuesday: A Crooked Kind of Perfect

Tween Tuesday was started by GreenBeanTeenQueen. Check her out!

This weekend I read A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban. This was a good, well written, quick read. From Good Reads:

"Ten-year-old Zoe Elias has perfect piano dreams. She can practically feel the keys under her flying fingers; she can hear the audience's applause. All she needs is a baby grand so she can start her lessons, and then she'll be well on her way to Carnegie Hall.

But when Dad ventures to the music store and ends up with a wheezy organ instead of a piano, Zoe's dreams hit a sour note. Learning the organ versions of old TV theme songs just isn't the same as mastering Beethoven on the piano. And the organ isn't the only part of Zoe's life that's off-kilter, what with Mom constantly at work, Dad afraid to leave the house, and that odd boy, Wheeler Diggs, following her home from school every day.

Yet when Zoe enters the annual Perform-O-Rama organ competition, she finds that life is full of surprises--and that perfection may be even better when it's just a little off center."

I found it very interesting to have the main character's father agoraphobic. While they are at home together, Zoe and her father are a great team, but when they are out of the house Zoe becomes more like the parent. Then Zoe becomes friends with a boy named Wheeler Diggs, who doesn't have a mother and whose father is too busy to parent much. Both of their stories struck a chord in me.

My son just started middle school, he has two parents and what I am learning quickly is how very valuable that is for him. I always thought that a single parent could do as much as needed for his/her children so that they wouldn't miss having two parents. I don't think that is correct anymore. I am not saying single parents can't do a stellar job, I know many who do. But, I also know that many wouldn't mind an extra set of hands every now and again. And even when a child has two parents it is valuable for them to have an additional adult they can turn to if need be.

Zoe in this story learns that she is very lucky to have two parents, even when one can't leave the house much or handle crowds or strangers. She also learns there is room in her family for a very lonely boy to share some of her father. I also loved how even when Zoe has pressure from friends to grow up quicker, she is not ready to, and she knows it.

This was a very moving story for me, I think these stories that have main characters around the same age as my children really make me think more.

4 cookies out of 5!


  1. I love this, Jana! Great review, awesome blog, and your header is perfect. :-)

    You'll have to teach me how to do the tabs at the top. I've been trying to figure that out for a while.

  2. I've so glad to see more and more people doing Tween Tuesday! This book sounds really good. I didn't realize that it cover that phobia and the idea of being lucky with what you have. Thanks for sharing this one.