I LURRRRRVED (A very special kind of love) the book A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban! It was an absolutely perfect type of book for a fifth grade student. For a first try novel, it rocked my socks. It has humor of the right type, a sensitive issue not too crazy or mushy, puppy love not overly emphasized, friendship problems specific to the age group of the main character, and parental angst that doesn't show disrespect.
The main character, Zoe, has always wanted to play a piano. She thinks her wish is coming true, but what she really ends up with is an organ. The story shows how Zoe can overcome a strange family environment, a waining friendship, a strange new addition to her everyday life, and learn to play her organ for an upcoming Perform-O-Rama. Somehow she makes it through with flying colors.
I would recommend this to most students in my class. Especially girls. There was nothing about the book that would steer me away from a recommendation to anyone. That is what makes it perfect for me. The only complaint I can think of was that maybe there were too many obstacles going on in this young girl's life. Then again, none were overly done so it stays perfectly balanced in my eyes. Oh yeah, and it is a super quick read.
Jen Robinson's Book Page
Fuse #8 Production
The Children's Literature Book Club
Linda Urban's Live Journal Crooked Perfect
Linda Urban's Website