A Crooked Kind of Perfect

Linda Urban, Author, Tai Alexendra Ricci, Read by
Linda Urban, Author, Tai Alexendra Ricci, Read by , read by Tai Alexandra Ricci. Listening Library $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7393-5961-7
Reviewed on: 10/29/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007

Sounding a bit like a younger Rachael Ray, Ricci has a slight throaty rasp and a deadpan quality that well suits the personality of newcomer Urban’s protagonist, 10-year-old aspiring pianist Zoe Elias. Zoe endures all manner of humiliation—including losing her best friend and playing “Hits of the ’70s” on a “wheeze-bag” of an organ in competition—by reminding herself of her goal of performing piano concerts at Carnegie Hall. Short chapters prove a great way to shine the spotlight on Zoe’s wry, just-short-of-sarcastic observations and will likely keep listeners hooked. However, Ricci’s sometimes halting delivery and forced-sounding inflection mar the rhythm of the proceedings, taking some of the snap out of Urban’s often laugh-out-loud humor. Listeners may also wonder why this recording, which has so much to do with music, contains nary a note. Ages 8-up. Simultaneous release with the Harcourt hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 20). (Sept.)

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