Monday, September 10, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Second Fiddle

Today’s pick: Second Fiddle by Rosanne Parry

Random House, 2011

Publisher’s Description:
When 13-year-old Jody and her friends save a badly beaten Russian soldier from drowning, they put into motion a chain of events that will take them from Berlin to Paris and straight into danger. Jody must quickly learn to trust herself, because in the time directly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the border between friend and enemy is not as clear as it once was.

Award-winning author of Heart of a Shepherd, Rosanne Parry, offers a fast-paced, coming-of-age story filled with adventure, music, friendship, and intrigue.

 My take:

This was an interesting story with lots of adventure!  Jody and her friends, Giselle and Vivian, are supposed to be going on a trip to Paris to play together in a musical competition, but with only a few days before they leave, their music teacher has to cancel. Before they have a chance to tell their parents, they witness the attempted murder of a Soviet soldier. To save his life, they need to smuggle him out of Berlin, maybe using their trip to Paris to do it.  
Several elements make this book different than any other middle grade novel I’ve read: the time period of just after the Berlin Wall came down, the girls’ life on a U.S. Army base, and the girls’ strong interest in music. I found it so cool that Jody creates musical compositions (and this has an important role in the story). And I loved all the adventures that the girls have in Paris.

As a writer, I admired how this author wove together the main story with the emotional concerns of the girls having to move away from each other.

How I discovered this book:
I received this book in April after winning a blog contest over at Middle Grade Mafioso!

This summer I finally got a chance to catch up on my reading and get to it, and I wasn’t disappointed. If you haven’t dropped by the Middle Grade Mafioso by Michael Gettel-Gilmartin, check it out. He also participates in Marvelous Middle Grade Monday and often has giveways.

Other info:
Rosanne Parry lives in Portland, Oregon and can play the violin. I was interested to see from her website pictures that she enjoys writing outside.

According to her website, her favourite thing about being a children’s writer is the friends she has made.
Second Fiddle was chosen as an Indy Next Pick in the spring of 2011 and was recently chosen by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English to be the 2012 Oregon Spirit Book Award winner.

Other books by this author include:
Heart of a Shepherd, 2009
Daddy’s Home, 2009 – picture book

For more, visit Rosanne Parry’s website or pinterest site 
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was dreamed up by the amazing Shannon Messenger. Visit her blog for an up-to-date list of all the bloggers who are participating and posting about middle grade books today!



  1. This is an awesome choice. I interviewed Rosanne and loved how she used her own experiences in part to come up with the story idea.

  2. Yay! Glad you enjoyed it, Andrea. Rosanne is a great writer and friend of mine.

  3. This has been on my list for a long time. My local library system does not have a copy yet, so I may have to break down and purchase it.

  4. Hey! Thanks Andrea!

    I recently got some good news regarding this title. It was chosen by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English to be the 2012 Oregon Spirit Book Award winner! I'm just thrilled!

    One of the things my middle-schooler showed me over the summer was how to use pinterest. I made a board for Second Fiddle with a bunch of photos my older daughter took while she was in Paris last year. There are also a few pictures my middle daughter took in Berlin while her choir was there on tour.

    Here's the link:

    1. Wow - congratulations on the award! Thanks for the extra info - I'm going to add your pinterest link above.

  5. Yes! Good choice for MMGM, Andrea. I loved this book. Received a signed copy from Natalie last year. Congrats, Rosanne, on the Oregon award!

  6. Sounds good! I won "Heart of a Shepard" from Michael and have yet to read it. Your review of this book has renewed my interest... just need to find the time! Great post!

  7. oh I just love the plot of this one. It's so unique. I just can't believe I've never heard of it. Thanks for the info!

  8. That is so cool about Rosanne's book!


I love to hear your responses and thoughts! Your comments will appear after moderation (I’ve decided to enable moderation due to excessive spam).