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Contributor(s): Redgate, Riley
ISBN: 1419723731     ISBN-13: 9781419723735
Publisher: Harry N Abrams Inc
    OUR PRICE: $16.16  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: May 2017
Annotation: Feeling undervalued because of musical talents that place her outside the spotlight, Jordan disguises herself as a boy to gain entry into a competitive, all-male a cappella group that is looking for a singer with her vocal range. By the author of Seven Ways We Lie. 50,000 first printing.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Men's choirs; Fiction.
Boarding schools; Fiction.
Schools; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2017016083
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.75" H x 5.75" W x 1.25" (1.20 lbs) 384 pages
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q70997
Reading Level: 5.7   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 23.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

Jordan Sun is an alto at a performing arts boarding school that rewards sopranos with big parts and altos with nothing (Jordan is also Chinese, something she suspects doesn't help her land roles either). Fed up, she tries out for a prestigious all-male a cappella group, the Sharpshooters, doing her best to pass as a boy. The group loves her voice, and soon Jordan is living a double life as Julian and realizing how much she enjoys it. Throughout, Jordan digs into questions about gender, sexuality, bias, and privilege ("What had I ever gotten out of being a girl, anyway? What did I even like about it?... I wasn't skinny, I wasn't pretty, and I didn't care about any of it as much as I was supposed to"), eventually opening herself up to a newfound, empowering fluidity. Redgate (Seven Ways We Lie) vividly captures the world of a cappella, and she uses Jordan's soul-searching—as well as her family's financial struggles, which linger in the background—to bring freshness and substantial depth to a gender-bending/mistaken identity plot that has a long history in literature and theater. Ages 13–up. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. (May)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly Annex.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 March)

Gr 8 Up—Jordan Sun cross-dresses as Julian, a male a cappella singer, to use her height and low singing voice to her advantage in a ploy that evolves from the mounting frustration she feels after not getting cast in plays. She's on theater scholarship far away from her San Francisco Chinese American parents, who are just barely scraping by financially. At Kensington-Blane, an upstate New York boarding school for the arts, Jordan is willing to risk aspects of her identity to audition for the Sharpshooters, a young men's singing ensemble with a long and proud tradition. She cuts her hair and dons a wig when in "girl mode." Once the teen makes the Sharps, she has to spend more and more of her time in cloaking glasses after raiding a thrift sale for boys' duds. Something of a whim becomes a commitment: she must pretend to be a dude for the long haul as the group preps for a high-stakes competition in December, and she is soon embraced by the tight club, which is focused on the prize. The seven other members of the group—all quite distinctively characterized—become an accepting clique, a sanctuary of friendship and artistic endeavor. As Jordan comes to know outsider Nihal, punctilious music director Trav, and talented and extroverted Isaac, she becomes embroiled in their ambitions and their rivalries. Jordan/Julian treats readers to an outsider/insider's perspective on gender. Setting and plot delightfully incorporate the arts, with themes of romance and self-awareness woven in. VERDICT This fun novel pushes against gender norms and will resonate with many teens. A strong purchase for most collections.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.