Sunday, June 22, 2008


On the last day at our school, the 8th grade holds a huge talent show. It is a fun morning of showcasing the talents of our kids. Some kids read poems, some danced, some sang, we even had a unicyclist. Some may have been better than others but the one thing they all had in common is their desire to perform -- to show the rest of the kids what they could do. Through the years I have seen kids that barely spoke for their three years of middle school put themselves out there on the last day. I've seen kids rise to the occasion and I've seen kids who just couldn't. But every year, we know that we will have a group of kids get up on that last day of middle school and go for it.

In Linda Urban's A Crooked Kind of Perfect, we meet a young girl who dreams of becoming a pianist. And she is willing to put in the work to make her dreams come true.

Zoe Elias dreams of being a concert pianist and performing in Carnegie Hall but when Zoe asks for a piano, she gets a Perfectone D-60 organ. The Perfectone D-60 is a “wood-grained, vinyl-seated, wheeze-bag organ”. Her Mother is always working and her Dad is afraid to leave the house. Her Dad spends most of his time doing home study courses with “Living Room University”. Then there is Wheeler, the cute boy on her bus who hits it off so well with Zoe’s Dad that he ends up spending more time at Zoe's house than his own. After weeks of practicing, Zoe gets the chance to enter the Perfectone Perform-O-Rama. What will happen to Zoe and her dreams at the competition at the Birch Valley Hotel and Conference Center? (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

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