Books by Selçuk Demirel

Released: March 1, 2011

Battling parental expectations and low self-esteem, a lad finds his bliss in building and learning to play a banjo. Born to unspeakable wealth thanks to his once-poor parents' invention of a high-tech dental-floss dispenser, Jeremiah leads a thoroughly regimented life—shuttling between his palatial mansion and an exclusive private school, plus a full extracurricular schedule of etiquette instruction, ballroom dancing, painting, golf and, most hated of all, piano lessons. Being mediocre or worse at everything he tries, his life is a misery. But then a chance encounter with a banjo player lights up a fascination with both the instrument and its music. After his pretentious parents strenuously forbid the purchase of such an item, he sets out to make one in secret from a cookie tin and other found ingredients, and then to buckle down and teach himself to play. Tucking basic information about banjo construction and history into his easygoing narrative, Fagan makes his budding musician work realistically hard on his project, eventually achieve some musical chops with support from both adult allies and a smart, free-spirited classmate and finally bring his astonished parents around with an impromptu set of classic folksongs. Occasional spot-art still-lifes done in pen and ink add formal notes to a low-key charmer. (Fiction. 10-12)Read full book review >