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THE RISING STAR OF RUSTY NAIL by Lesley M.M. Blume

THE RISING STAR OF RUSTY NAIL

By Lesley M.M. Blume

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 12th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-83524-7
Publisher: Knopf

Being a budding classical musician in small town Minnesota during the 1950s doesn’t stop Franny from throwing water balloons and causing trouble—especially for Nancy Orilee, whose aggravating bragging about her hoity-toity ways includes competition for top pianist honors. When town lawyer Charlie Koenig brings his new Russian wife home, the whole town is in an uproar, thinking that Olga is a spy. However, Franny discovers the “Commie” is a famous musician with a collection of instruments, including a grand piano. Finagling some lessons requires trickery, but Franny is determined in spite of small-town McCarthyism and Olga’s own cantankerousness. Shenanigans abound with Franny’s best friend Sandy, and yet there is no doubt of her dedication to becoming a great pianist. Blume’s folksy tone somewhat undermines the high tone in regards to the music, but those who love a heroine with gumption struggling with injustice will enjoy the ride. (Fiction. YA)