Melody Trumpet (Gabrielle Tozer, HarperCollins)
Melody’s parents are world-famous musicians (and narcissistic bores) who expect their only daughter to have inherited their incredible talent, but poor Melody can’t play any instruments and sounds like a screeching cat when she sings. Hidden away behind closed doors, Melody has been privately coached for years by Mr Pizzicato, who has failed to teach her absolutely anything. Now, at 10 years old, the time has come for her debut gala performance, where the world will soon discover she is a sham. After Mr Pizzicato abandons her, Melody discovers some creative new friends, finds she does have a special talent, and actually has some fun for the first time. She also manages to get rid of her dastardly, devious parents.
Gabrielle Tozer has previously written three young adult novels, most recently Remind Me How This Ends. She excels in smart, snappy dialogue and imbues her creations with plenty of character and determination. Her first novel for younger readers shares that sensibility. This is a fun, well-written story about finding your voice for readers aged seven to 10 years old, although at over 250 pages it might be too lengthy for some readers.
Angela Crocombe is the manager of Readings Kids