Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani

Published by First Second

Amazon.com: Jukebox (9781250156372): Chanani, Nidhi, Chanani, Nidhi: Books
Jukebox | Nidhi Chanani | Macmillan

Summary:  When Shahi’s music-obsessed dad goes missing, she and her cousin Naz wind up at Earl’s music store where her father spent a lot of time.  They find an unusual old jukebox that plays LP records, then accidentally discover that it transports them back to the time the album was released.  While they get some interesting glimpses of history, they don’t find Shahi’s dad.  It takes a lot of trial-and-error and some detective work to finally figure out what’s going on and to have a reunion that not only brings Dad back to the present but mends some of the more difficult parts of Shahi’s relationship with him.  Includes a playlist of songs referenced in the story; an author’s note explaining her inspirations for the book; and several pages showing the evolution of some of her artwork.  224 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  The premise of this graphic novel is very cool, and serves as a great introduction to a lot of music and some of the historical events that both inspired that music and were influenced by it.  Although there’s a bit of an age gap between the two girls (Naz is Shahi’s babysitter), they are loyal friends who help and protect each other.

Cons:  The story felt a bit too ambitious with not only the musical and historical aspects, but a variety of relationship issues and subplots about Naz’s ear surgery and worries about coming out as bisexual.  The pictures at the beginning of the time travel sections included some jotted notes about the artist and/or album, which looked really interesting, but were hard to read.

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