SECOND FIDDLE by Rosanne Parry


Age Range: 10 - 14
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Post–Cold War thriller meets teen-friendship story with uneven results. Eighth-grade BFFs Jody, Giselle and Vivian are facing their last few days together in Germany, some months after the Berlin Wall has been dismantled. Their fathers are being sent to different military assignments, and they will be separated. A trip to Paris for a music competition seems like the perfect finish to their time together, but at the last moment their music teacher backs out, jeopardizing the trip. The girls witness a brutal attack on a Soviet soldier and save his life; he then disguises himself as their chaperone to escape Germany and, possibly, the KGB. Fending for themselves in Paris, the girls, initially naive, intrepidly discover their inner resources. Military children everywhere will recognize the wrenching loss their coming separation will cause, but the only mildly suspenseful spy-novel action ultimately minimizes that issue, leaving an entertaining but never fully engaging coming-of-age tale in a well-realized setting. While fast paced and featuring perfectly fine character development, this effort, hampered by its thriller ambitions, fails to reach the lofty standard Parry set in her luminous debut, Heart of a Shepherd (2009). (Historical thriller. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 22nd, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-86196-3
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2011


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