The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Powells.com Interview



David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$11.95
List price: $16.99
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Children's Middle Readers- General

Second Fiddle

by

Second Fiddle Cover

ISBN13: 9780375861963
ISBN10: 0375861963
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $11.95!

 

 

Excerpt

1

Tuesday, May 22, 1990

West Berlin

If we had known it would eventually involve the KGB, the French National Police, and the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, we would have left that body in the river and called the Polizei like any normal German citizen; but we were Americans and addicted to solving other people's problems, so naturally, we got involved.

It began like every Tuesday afternoon. All the other kids from the American school on the army base at Zehlendorf went to the gym or the after-school matinee or the Scout meeting at the community center, but Giselle and Vivian and I took the S-Bahn to our music lesson in downtown West Berlin. Ordinarily, as soon as we found seats on the train, Vivian would get out her geometry book and Giselle would disappear under headphones with a new cassette from the latest girl rock star. If she remembered to bring extra headphones, I'd listen along, but usually I worked on writing my own music: minuets for the violin, mostly. Not nearly as hip as "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," but I had to start somewhere, and classical music was what I knew. Not that I'd admit this to just anyone, but classical music was what I loved--more than anything.

We were only five days away from the big Solo and Ensemble Contest in Paris. We'd been working on our competition piece, Pachelbel's Canon, since Christmas. Our music teacher thought we had a shot at first place in the twelve-to-fourteen-year-olds group, and Giselle's dad, General Johnson, had bragged to the entire brigade that we were going to clean up, so no pressure or anything. Not that I didn't love winning, but for me the big deal was that it was our first trip to Paris, and it would be our last time ever to perform together as a trio before the army moved Giselle and me back to the States.

So this time, Vivian and Giselle were listening to the Canon together on her Walkman. Vivian closed her eyes and hummed her part, and Giselle ran the fingerings of the tricky section with all the sixteenth notes. A German lady and her kids stared at us like usual. I used to think it was because Giselle was really pretty and kind of hard to miss because she was so tall, but after three years of riding the commuter train, I knew better. I'd never seen a black kid on the train; plenty of Turkish girls, but nobody as dark as Giselle.

We hopped off at the Potsdamer Platz and walked away from the park and museums and into the neighborhood of Kreuzberg, where our music teacher lived. We went right past Checkpoint Charlie--that guardhouse of Communism between the Soviet Union and the West. It was empty and dark as we walked past, abandoned as abruptly as the East Germans had voted out the Communist Party a few months before. The souvenir collectors and reporters had left months ago. Occasionally, we saw a few eager tourists chipping away at the sections of the Wall still standing, but today, nothing.

"So, Jody," Vivian said, "what do you want to see in Paris?"

"The Eiffel Tower," I said automatically. I loved tall things: roller coasters, bridges, the Statue of Liberty, the Space Needle. The upside of being a military kid was that you got to see a lot of cool places. The downside was that every time you made a friend, you had to move away.

"The Eiffel Tower? No way!" Giselle called over her shoulder. As usual, she was a half dozen strides ahead. "Everyone sees the Eiffel Tower. Boring! Let's go to the Racine Club."

"Where?" I said.

"It's a fencing school. The best one in all of France. My fencing master trained there, and he said he'd set up some bouts with the kids who are in training. Come on, it'll be fun!"

I watched one of Giselle's fencing matches last year. Right away I could see why fencing is not a sport on TV.

"Hello?" Vivian said. "This is Paris we're talking about--art museums? Ballet? Neither of you wants to go shopping?"

I, captain of the fashion clueless, shrugged.

"Let's see," Giselle said, turning to face us and extending both hands to weigh the options. "Shopping for fluffy, fruity-smelling French things or meeting Olympic-level athletes--tough call."

Giselle put her hands on her hips and looked down at Vivian, which is not hard even for me. Vivian was the size of your average fourth grader. Vivi glared right back, but it didn't have quite the same punch with her preppy girl clothes and Clark Kent glasses.

"How about this," I broke in as we rounded the corner and came to our music teacher's apartment house. "There's shopping on the Champs-Elysees, right?"

Vivian nodded and held open the door.

"Then we can go to the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the street--that's famous and tall, but not so dorky as the Eiffel Tower, okay?"

Giselle nodded and pushed the button for the elevator.

"And Giselle can, umm . . ."

"Stab anyone who tries to pickpocket us?" Vivian offered.

"Exactly!" I said. "You can stab them fifteen times if you like," I added, remembering how many touches made a match in fencing.

"Perfect!" Giselle said. "And while I go to jail, you two can go see a nice fluffy French ballet." She hip checked Vivian into the elevator as the door slid open and tugged my ponytail as she followed me in.

"I would bring you cake if you were in jail," I said.

"Yes," Vivi added. "Chocolate cake with a bomb inside and directions for your escape in secret code!"

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, May 3, 2011 (view all comments by Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com)
Jody and her friends, Giselle and Vivian, can’t believe their music teacher has to cancel their trip to Paris for a musical competition. It was supposed to be the last chance they would have to play together before Jody and Giselle leave the U.S. Army base in Berlin and return to the U.S.

Then they witness the attempted murder of a Soviet soldier by his own officers. The girls realize the only way they can truly save his life is to smuggle him out of Berlin. And that trip to Paris may be just the way to do it�"if they can figure out how to pull it off.

Second Fiddle by Rosanne Parry is set just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. As children of military or diplomatic parents, the girls in the story all live in homes that are highly disciplined. They’re good kids, and because they’ve moved often they know how to adapt to different environments. But Giselle and Jody are nervous about their impending move. They’re not sure they will fit in with the kids at school in the states, and they don’t want to lose their friendship in the process.

Their decision to take the soldier to Paris, and the events that follow, can provide great things to discuss in a mother-daughter book club with girls aged 9 to 13. Issues to talk about include kids taking on responsibility, becoming more independent, contributing to important family decisions, and deciding whom they can trust. There’s also plenty to talk about in regards to the Soviet Union, the Berlin Wall, military family life, and visiting Paris. I highly recommend it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375861963
Author:
Parry, Rosanne
Publisher:
Random House Books for Young Readers
Subject:
Soldiers
Subject:
Runaways
Subject:
Historical - United States - 21st Century
Subject:
Social Issues - Friendship
Subject:
Girls & Women
Subject:
Children s-Historical Fiction-U.S. 21st Century
Subject:
ya;berlin
Publication Date:
20110331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 3 up to 7
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.52 x 6.04 x .92 in .775 lb
Age Level:
08-12

Other books you might like

  1. Dogtag Summer Used Trade Paper $1.50
  2. How I Found the Strong Used Trade Paper $4.00
  3. Mr. Lincoln's High-Tech War: How the... New Hardcover $18.95
  4. Under Siege!: Three Children at the... Used Hardcover $8.95
  5. Photo by Brady: A Picture of the... Used Hardcover $12.95
  6. Chime Used Trade Paper $4.95

Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction
Children's » Historical Fiction » United States » 21st Century
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Friendship

Second Fiddle Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Random House Books for Young Readers - English 9780375861963 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Set in 1990, just after the Berlin Wall has fallen, Parry's insightful coming-of-age novel follows the tumultuous journey of three eighth-grade friends who live on an army base in Berlin. Jody, a violinist and classical composer, is dreading leaving her two best friends when her father retires from the army, and she will again be forced to uproot her life to move to Texas. Along with commanding Giselle and brainy Vivian, Jody plans to enter a solo and ensemble contest in Paris as a string trio; their planned performance is thwarted when their teacher falls ill, but when they witness the attempted murder of Arvo, a Soviet soldier and translator, they rescue him and plot to secret him to Paris. The trip doesn't go as planned, and the friends wind up on a wild goose chase with international ramifications. The action may take place in the '90s, but this reads like first-class historical fiction; Parry (Heart of a Shepherd) vividly conjures the political tensions of the period, the challenges of life as an army brat, and the redemptive power of music. Ages 8 — 12. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by , US
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.