Variations on a Dream
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This month BfK features Jane Ray’s cover for The Twelve Dancing Princesses. We’re particularly delighted to have the opportunity to use this illustration as it enables us to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Orchard Books - they’re 10 this year! And also to thank them for their help in producing our July cover.
Suzy Millar's father has been in prison for two years on a fraud charge, during which time she's been running the household and ministering to her fragile mother. Suzy's cello-playing has taken second place and she's unable - and unwilling - to realise her father's ambition of a place for her at a prestigious music college. Unhappy at her father's determination to run her life, she dabbles in jazz with a local band, and samples alternative lifestyles - including a residential teaching community for handicapped young people. It's here that she finds her true talent, as a teacher, becoming aware of music as a healing, spiritual force rather than merely something to be performed with exacting technique. There's the obligatory romantic interest along the way, yet the book successfully avoids the cliché-trap, holds the reader's attention and communicates a good deal about learning and growing to Year 9 readers and above.