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MUSIC BY MORGAN by Ted Staunton


by Ted Staunton and illustrated by Bill Slavin

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-88780-926-2
Publisher: Formac

When his parents sign him up for floor hockey, which he hates, third-grader Morgan hesitatingly agrees to his friend Aldeen's plan to switch roles. She will play hockey and he will take piano lessons. Their masquerade is difficult to sustain. This is the author’s tenth book about chunky Morgan, his athletic friend Charlie and Aldeen, “the Godzilla of Grade Three,” characters who will feel familiar even to those who have not read the other stories. In this first-person, plot-driven narrative, told in mostly believable dialogue, Aldeen and Morgan get into increasingly difficult situations, moving toward the point when their deception is revealed and Morgan's parents capitulate, letting him continue with music. The setting is generic—a house with a driveway and basement, a schoolyard and the community center. This is part of the Canadian publisher’s First Novels nine aimed at early readers ready for something slightly more substantial. The print is good-sized and heavily leaded; vocabulary is breezy and appropriate. “Aldeen’s eyes go all squinchy. ‘Then I’ll smoosh you into a hockey puck.’ ” Each of the ten short chapters includes one full-page black-and-white cartoon illustration. These effectively portray the characters and highlight important moments. These provide accessible, comfortable stories for students who’ve moved beyond early readers but are not ready for much greater length or more complexity. (Fiction. 6-9)