Nidhi Chanani. First Second, $21.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-250-15637-2
Music links 12-year-old Bangladeshi American Shaheen (Shahi) to her white father “like rhythm and melody,” but her dad’s growing obsession with the topic is also becoming a source of contention in the family. When he doesn’t return home one night, Shahi and her Indian mother grow worried. Convinced that the record store Shahi’s dad frequents holds answers, Shahi and her 15-year-old cousin Tannaz (Naz) slip inside an open alleyway window to get inside. In the attic, they discover a mysterious jukebox that can play a full album, and when Naz puts on a Bessie Smith record, she and Shahi are transported to the year 1929, where they encounter a Lindy Hop contest at the Savoy. Realizing that the jukebox sends them to the same era as the tunes it’s playing, Shahi and Naz begin their search for Shahi’s father, traveling from one great music era to the next. With a rich color palette, vivid historical details, and funny rapport between the cousins, Chanani (Pashmina) writes a love letter to music through the decades, visually twining the albums with important historical events. Music aficionados will appreciate the message of connectivity that, through music, transcends generations. Ages 10–14. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (June)
Correction: A previous version of this review misstated Shaheen's ethnicity.
Reviewed on: 04/22/2021