Friday, September 10, 2010

Seattle Blues

Set in the 1970s, Seattle Blues by Michael Wenberg is a great tween historical fiction novel. Maya has been sent to Seattle for the summer to stay with her grandmother, a woman she has never met or talked to before. Maya's mom is busy trying to finish college and her father is missing in action in Vietnam. Angry about her circumstances, things don't get off to a great start, as Maya tries to find ways to irritate her grandmother. Grandmother also has a new neighbor who Maya befriends. Although he is autistic, he is an amazing musician and the two develop a relationship as they make music together. Maya is able to find out more about jazz music and her grandfather, an accomplished musician as she takes trombone lessons, and seems gifted in the way that her grandparents and mother are. When the summer begins Maya is unable to accept that her father may not be coming home. She is certain that he will return one day and continues to write him letters. Despite her grandmother's attempt to talk to Maya about this she continues to remain in denial for a long time. This book focuses mostly on the relationships in Maya's life - hers with her mother, hers with her grandmother, with her neighbor instead of the time period it is set in. I really enjoyed this one- the time period, the place, and the focus of music while a girl learns where she came from.

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