Changing Tunes by Donna Jo Napoli

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Synopsis

Eileen's father has moved out. And he has taken the piano--which Eileen had always thought of as the family piano. To Eileen, a gifted musician, the loss of both is tremendous. Suddenly, Eileen's life has changed, even though none of this was of her making or in her control. To continue with her music, she has to practice on an ancient beat-up instrument in the school auditorium. And she comes home to an empty house because her mother has had to take a job. Locked into herself by anger, shame, and betrayal, she isn't able to tell anyone about her feelings. How Eileen begins the hard job of reconciling with the reality of her new life makes a touching and involving novel. Donna Jo Napoli has created a character that young readers can identify and sympathize with as she begins to change the tunes that together compose her life.
 

About Donna Jo Napoli

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Donna Jo Napoli was born in 1948. She has earned three degrees from Harvard University: a B.A. in Mathematics, an M.A. in Italian Literature, and a Ph.D. in General and Romance Linguistics. She has taught on the university level since 1970, is widely published in scholarly journals and has received numerous grants and fellowships in the area of linguistics. She teaches linguistics and was chair of the linguistics program at Swarthmore College. She is a published poet and coeditor of four poetry volumes. Napoli was introduced to Dutton by Lloyd Alexander. Dutton promptly published her first middle grade novel, Soccer Shock, in 1991 to critical and popular acclaim. In 1993, Napoli's versatility became evident with the publication of The Prince of the Pond which won the New Jersey Reading Association's M. Jerry Weiss Book Award in 1997. Napoli has also won a Bulletin Blue Ribbon, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and a Publishers Weekly Choice of the Years Best books for her novel Zel. Napoli's Stones in Water won the Golden Kite Award in 1997. She has written many young adult novels including The Wager in 2010.
 
Published March 26, 2012 by Dutton Juvenile. 160 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Arts & Photography. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Changing Tunes

Kirkus Reviews

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During these sessions, Eileen befriends the kindly janitor, Mr. Poole, who tells Eileen that even though his family was poor, he enjoyed playing the piano—and the one song he knew—when he was a kid.

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Publishers Weekly

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Second, friendship with the kindly school custodian buoys her after her mother arranges for her to practice on the piano in the school auditorium (""Rickety, old, awful thing,"" she thinks sullenly).

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