The Sweetest Sound by Sherri Winston

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Summary:  Cadence hasn’t enjoyed her birthday since her mother left home the day after she turned 7.  Now she’s about to turn 11, which means she’ll be old enough to make the big move from her church’s Children’s Choir to the Youth Choir…if she can find the courage to audition.  Cadence has a secret: she’s inherited her mother’s beautiful singing voice, but she’s too shy to share it with even her family and closest friends.  Tired of being called Mouse, Cadence struggles to express herself and stand up to her father and friends who mean well but often put their own interests ahead of hers.  After accidentally releasing a video of herself, disguised, singing a gospel song, Cadence becomes an overnight YouTube sensation.  Now she must decide if she’s brave enough to step into the spotlight and let her true self shine.  272 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  An upbeat story with a positive message about being yourself, peopled with a fun, culturally diverse cast of characters.

Cons:  Two of her friends’ mothers, one Chinese and one Jewish, are a bit stereotypical.

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