Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Kellen Hertz
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Sixth grader Tenney Grant loves playing her guitar and writing her own lyrics. She volunteers to be on the Jamboree committee working with senior citizens and decides to sign up to be a performer. A music scout invites Tenney to perform at a music showcase where record labels look for up-and-coming talent. After much debate, Tenney's parents allow her to perform her original piece at the showcase, which she struggles through and ends up disappointed that she doesn't get signed to a record deal. Her senior citizen partner for the Jamboree turns out to be a country music legend and encourages Tenney to get back onstage, where the record producer sees Tenney knock it out of the park and decides to take her under his wing.
This text does a good job at taming pre-teen expectations by having Tenney not get a record deal and dealing with failure she feels. It also shows that even though we may want something very much, it may not always be the best choice, as not everyone has good intentions. Having Tenney process and subsequently deal with her feelings through writing song lyrics or playing her guitar shows that there are positive ways for pre-teen girls to deal with all the emotions they may be feeling. The text is easy to read with a plot that will be relatable to the target audience. However, the story line bounces around quite a bit, making it hard to follow or make the connection to Tenny's musical aspirations and the Jamboree until the last few chapters.