A Crooked Kind of Perfect

Written by: Linda Urban

Zoe Elias has big musical dreams. As soon as she gets a glossy baby grand piano, she’ll be on her way to Carnegie Hall. Trouble is, what Zoe gets is a wood-grained, vinyl-seated, wheeze-bag organ.
Yet when she enters the annual Perform-O-Rama organ competition, Zoe finds that life is full of surprises – and that perfection may be even better when it’s just a little off center.

The description is from the jacket provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

This book was like a breath of fresh air. Sincere characters with wants that turn out to be more complicated than they originally look. The thing I liked best is the lengths the characters went through to give genuine help to the people they care about. It is a fun story about the joyous things that can come to light when your plans don’t work out the way you expected.

Discussion/Project Ideas.

1.  Zoe has a big dream.  And despite the fact that she gets a slightly different instrument than the one she hoped for, she remains dedicated to being a success.  Tell the steps you think it takes to be successful at playing an instrument.

2.  Zoe’s father has serious issues that prevent him from comfortably interacting with the world around him.  What strategies does he use to cope with this on a daily basis?  What does he do at the end to enable him to make a big step toward dealing with these issues on a more longterm basis?

3.  Having friends that listen well and try hard to understand your world plays an important role in your happiness.  How do the friendships in this story affect each of the characters?  How do they positively affect each others’ lives?

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