CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 19. . . .January 27, 2017
High Note is one of a series of books published for the “Orca Limelights” series. These novels all have different settings in the world of the performing arts. This is a realistic novel about two girls who are very close friends and what happens to them when they compete with each other. The book tells the story from the point of view of one the girls, Hailey. Both Hailey and her friend Crissy are members of a choir that is going to perform in an opera. When one of the professional opera singers becomes ill, there is a competition for a replacement from the choir, and both friends are eager to audition for the role of Barbarina in “The Marriage of Figaro”. Hailey is an ordinary girl with ordinary interests until she auditions for a solo role in the opera and discovers that, not only does she have a good voice, but she also would like to pursue a career as a singer. Crissy, on the other hand, is determined to become a professional singer. Unfortunately, there are only two parts for the audition, the singer and the understudy, and Hailey finds herself competing with her best friend for the singing part. Crissy becomes very jealous when Hailey wins the part, and her jealousy wreaks havoc with their friendship and leaves the reader wondering how the girls will resolve this situation.
Like most YA novel, parents are almost nonexistent in High Note although Crissy’s mother plays an interesting character who isn’t very kind to Hailey. She seems to be the typical backstage mother. Hailey’s parents are in the background and play a supportive role.
Although the novel is short in length, the story is interesting, and I enjoyed the novel especially for the suspense that the author creates though a skilful use of dialogue and character development. Any reader who is interested in any form of performing arts would find High Note entertaining, and it isn’t necessary to have a background in opera to enjoy this book.
Janet Johnson, a retired librarian, used to teach Children’s Literature for the Library Technician Program at Red River College in Winnipeg, MB.
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