Unabridged books on 3 compact discs (3 hours, 17 minutes). Read by Tai Alexandra Ricci. Random House/ Listening Library (2007)
Ten-year-old Zoe Elias has her heart set on playing a piano concert in Carnegie Hall. The fact that she doesn't own a piano, nor taken any lessons is merely incidental. She has recently lost her best friend to a rich, queen bee; her mom is a workaholic comptroller, and her dad stays at home and completes home study courses because leaving the house makes him anxious. Still, he's game to shop for a used upright piano for Zoe, only he returns home with a Perfectone Organ, "a wheezebag," with a vinyl bench. A far cry from the baby grand that she wishes her family could afford. The Perfectone comes with lessons and she diligently practices. Her teacher notices that she has some talent and convinces her to compete in a Perfectone recital.
This short, sweet, gentle read is peopled with memorable characters, leavened with much humor and lovely moments, where imperfect people do the best that they can, and where friendship can creep up and surprise a person. The narration by Tai Alexandra Ricci is a bit measured and deadpan, but fits Zoe's tendency to lay back and observe.