For ten-year-old Cadence Jolly, birthdays are a constant reminder of all that has changed since her mother skipped town with dreams of becoming a singing star. Cadence inherited that musical soul, she can't deny it, but otherwise she couldn't be more different - she's as shy as can be. Read more...
For ten-year-old Cadence Jolly, birthdays are a constant reminder of all that has changed since her mother skipped town with dreams of becoming a singing star. Cadence inherited that musical soul, she can't deny it, but otherwise she couldn't be more different - she's as shy as can be.
She did make a promise last year that she would try to break out of her shell, just a little. And she prayed that she'd get the courage to do it. As her eleventh birthday draws near, she realizes time is running out. And when a secret recording of her singing leaks and catches the attention of her whole church, she needs to decide what's better: deceiving everyone by pretending it belongs to someone else, or finally stepping into the spotlight.
In a story filled with whimsy and hope, Sherri Winston inspires readers to embrace the voice within.
- ISBN-13: 9780316302951
- ISBN-10: 0316302953
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: January 2017
- Page Count: 272
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
- Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-10-31
- Reviewer: Staff
What happens if you make a promise to God, then try to take it back? Ten-year-old Cadence Jolly finds herself asking that question after she promises to share her secret talent for singing with the worldor at least with her churchin Winstons (President of the Whole Sixth Grade) warm story of growing up and coming out of ones shell. A folksy first-person narrative reveals an intensely introverted girl who wants to be the mouse that roared but cant quite muster it, whether shes trying to sing by herself, stand up to a pushy friend, or tell her father not to make a big deal of her birthday (its also the anniversary of her mother skipping out on the family). As courage fails Cadence, she finds solace in her musical talent and love of words. When that talent is accidentally shared online, shes forced to take credit or continue to cower. Focusing on an African American church community and incorporating references to gospel music throughout, Winston breathes fresh life into the shy-kid narrative, making Cadences story feel both individual and universal. Ages 812. (Jan.)
A gifted singer finds her voice
Life has been challenging for 10-year-old Cadence Mariah Jolly ever since her mother disappeared to pursue her musical dreams. As Cadence desperately yearns for her missing mom, she nurses her own musical and literary dreams in Sherri Winston’s heartfelt novel.
In a book brimming with musical allusions, Cadence lives in Harmony, Pennsylvania, and plans to become a “No.1 Bestselling Author of Amazing Stories.” Meanwhile, not even her family or best friends realize that she’s a gifted singer like her mom. Cadence—so shy that people call her Mouse—is trying hard to summon the gumption to change that.
Opportunity presents itself through youth choir auditions at Cadence’s lively, bustling church. Winston weaves occasional biblical references throughout the novel but still manages to create a story for all creeds and colors—a rare feat indeed. Too timid to audition in person, Cadence posts an anonymous video that soon goes viral, with news outlets vying frantically to identify the mysterious “Gospel Girl.” Ultimately, Cadence faces the agonizing choice of being true to herself or betraying one of her best friends.
Winston has a superb knack for creating intriguing middle school relationships, natural dialogue and an entire village of believable, multicultural characters. The Sweetest Sound is a deftly written saga that reads like a small symphony.