Reviewer Fran Lewis:
Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing
Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters degrees and
a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently. She is a member of
Who's Who of America's Teachers and Who's
Who of America's Executives from Cambridge. In addition,
she is the author of three children's books and a fourth Alzheimer’s
book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey: Ruth’s story
in honor of her mom. Fran
hopes to create more awareness for a cure of Alzheimer.
She was also the musical director for shows in her school and ran the school's newspaper. Fran writes reviews for authors upon request and for several other sites. You can read some of my reviews on Ezine.com and on ijustfinished under the name Gabina. Follow Here To Listen to Fran's Radio Show and Here
Author: Tonja Drecker
Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press
Life changed for Lindsey moving to New York. Her sister Bridget hoping to become a concert violinist attending Juilliard increased her parent’s work schedules and devoted any free time to Bridget and her lessons. Resentful to a point yet proud of her sister Lindsey falls prey to her own hopes and dreams when accidentally meeting a dance teacher far superior than the one at the Community Center. Dancing for Madame Destinee would mean sneaking out to perform at the midnight show and subjected to enhancements in the form of treats that created illusions within her mind. The treats appeared harmless and the music box she received to place in her parent’s room to soothe their sleep and prevent them from awakening at first gave her pause for thought but after performing once she was hooked.
Dance was her passion and given Blue to wear for her first show alienated her from one girl who wanted the Blue costume for herself. Imagine the power of music taking over a 12 year old girl and music boxes that hold an important significance in this story. With a special one given to Lindsey from her grandmother she is disheartened when Madame Destinee tells her it’s a fake claiming she has all the originals belonging to her brother who disappeared. Dancing in the midnight show she fell in line to the music using the ear buds that seem to allow her to do lifts and other movements that would take years to perfect.
When Lindsey and Bridget have a falling out at breakfast and Bridget reveals she knows her secret, a special bond happens and the resentment that Lindsey felt towards her sister disappeared and fame was the goal for both sisters.
Imagine a 12 dancing the lead in the Nutcracker. Imagine being let in on a secret that Madame told her about her own special Christmas surprise. But, the girls in the troupe and Robert her dance partner have no idea about the sinister Madame Destinee and her true motive behind helping these unsuspecting young teens.
• Learning more about the dance studio Lindsey begins to see physical changes in the studio starting with the steps and a revelation about where all the students come from and something almost impossible being in two places at once. Added in the figurines on the music boxes resemble some of the students that have been let go from her classes as they disappear and become one in the same with their own private prison: the Music Box.
• Lindsey begins to realize that the food all the students are required to eat affects their senses especially the sense of sight. Imagine a place that would be defined as a dumb looking appears to the students being a beautiful studio and dressing or changing rooms with odors that would make you cringe. Author Tonja Drecker created a story filled with young hopefuls that fell prey to someone sinister and evil who pretended to care for each one claiming they had talent but in the end were more like trophies on a musical stand in their own image. When Lindsey realizes both Ellie and Robert are part of this music box museum you might say, will she realize she might be next? Waking one morning and seeing her mother reacting with giggles and odd behavior and claiming Bridget is her imaginary friend, leads her to finally listening to Ms. Mulberry her downstairs neighbor who will shock all readers with her revelations. Within this novel Lindsey will learn the true meaning of the power of love, understanding, friendship, and the fact that Madame Destinee’s career might been great at one point but now she sees herself through the dancers that she claims she wants to help succeed in reality she wants take their talents and store them on top of each one of the figurines in order for her theater to have a full audience and she can hear the applause.
• When Lindsey realized what each music box was and that even Broussard was not a dog but something else, the fear within her made her body shake and hoping to defeat Madame Destinee before the last figurine and the last seat in the theater is filled and one more music box and all of the seats would be filled and she would be the missing figurine if she could not stop her. Ms. Mulberry and the author reminds her that jealousy is wrong and that everyone has a talent and jealousy is dangerous. “Those who possess great talent have no right to be jealous of someone.” All kids are sometimes jealous of others not just sisters but as you will learn the dancers in this story who have now become permanent dancers on each music box wanted to excel and be the best in the eyes of Madame Destinee.
• Will Lindsey find a way to safe her sister? What about the other dancers? Is Madame Destinee gone or will she somehow reappear? Lessons in trust, loyalty and sisterly love as the author teaches Lindsey and all young adults that we all are talented in something and we don’t need magic to help us succeed. An ending that will surprise you and a twelve-year-old girl named Lindsey who would use the power of love and a special amulet to prove that jealousy loses and love just might win out before each one remains a Music Box.