cover image Tania's Trolls

Tania's Trolls

Lisa Westberg Peters. Arcade Publishing, $10.95 (56pp) ISBN 978-1-55970-040-5

``Now, now, Tania, everything will be all right.'' How Tania longs to hear these reassuring words from her beloved Grandma Inga, but the old cantankerous figure who arrives for a visit is not the cozily comforting grandmother Tania remembers. Tania is nervously facing a piano recital, and the the girl's stage fright is only made worse by the continued performing ease and confidence of Grandma Inga, Tania's first music teacher; Grandma even plays for a family gathering with her eyes closed. The girl's listless playing at the dress rehearsal draws criticism from her Grandma, along with--more surprisingly--an admission of failed hopes. A midnight performance by Grandma Inga triggers recollections from the woman; bolstered by a new sense of understanding, Tania confronts her trolls--and wins--in a spirited recital performance. Peters's first novel tackles some familiar themes with freshness and a keen sense of understanding; the shifting perceptions between young people and their elders is touchingly handled without becoming maudlin. Her story's many provocative ideas will move and enrich young readers. Ages 7-9. (Nov.)