Five years ago Joe Lynch, my predecessor as review editor, instituted a December tradition of reviewing children's books. I have gladly continued this custom, in several different forms. This year we try another style.
Reading Rainbow, a PBS show starring LeVar Burton, a versatile actor who also plays the engineer of the Enterprise on Star Trek: The Next Generation, is a good-quality children's show that daily includes several children reviewing age-appropriate books. (One of the benefits of being a parent is the excuse it provides for watching such programs.) This year we will use that format to look at children's books that are Worthy of Note.
I must admit I have shamelessly and "nepotically" asked the children of friends to write reviews. I hope no one considers this an abuse of friendship. But no matter, please enjoy the insights of these young people.
The first review is provided by Anna Warnes, a 10-year-old from St. Louis Park, Minnesota. She read and reviewed Mozart Season, by Virginia E. Wolff (Henry Holt & Co., 1991, $15.95, cloth). Of the book she says:
Are you into music? Or how about competition? Well, I have the perfect book for you.
It's about a pageturner and violinist named Allegra. She enters a competition called the Bloch Competition. You'll find out about her summer practicing violin and being a pageturner. She meets some unusual people like a man who dances at every outdoor concert.
I liked this book because I play piano and know what she was going through. Allegra taught me that winning and losing aren't the most important things in the world. I think other kids would like this book because it's very exciting and interesting.