Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Rising Star of Rusty Nail by Lesley M.M. Blume

This is a very entertaining book about a girl growing up in a small town in Minnesota in 1953. Franny, who's 10, and her best friend Sandy get into lots of mischief, because there's not a lot else to do in Rusty Nail, Minnesota. When Franny's not getting into trouble she's playing the piano. She's talented, but her piano teacher is a cranky old woman who sleeps through her lessons, and her parents don't have enough money to pay for a better teacher. Then a mysterious Russian woman moves to town. Everyone in town shuns her, claiming that she's a Communist, but Franny and Sandy are intrigued, and spy on her. When Franny figures out that the Russian is a pianist, she won't give up until Madame Malenkov agrees to teach her. The book gives a good idea of what life must have been like in the mid-west in the 1950's. Review by Stacy Church

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