The Sweetest Sound
Who has sass, whimsy and enough talent to fill a whole church choir? Ten-year-old Cadence Mariah Jones, the protagonist of Sherri Winston's THE SWEETEST SOUND. Although she is shy and dealing with some difficult family issues, Cadence knows that one day she will be a star, a bestselling author who can sing just like her idol, Mariah Carey. But when Cadence gets her chance to shine, she realizes she may have more to confront than her own shyness.
"The themes of confidence, loyalty and fear may seem familiar at first glance, but Winston's cadenced writing and diverse population of characters will give these themes a fresh new look."
Set in the small town of Harmony, Pennsylvania, THE SWEETEST SOUND follows young Cadence as she turns 11 and confronts her talent, the truth about her mother and some changing friendships. For years Cadence has been treated as not only the baby of her family, but the whole town. After her mother ran out on her family five years ago, everyone in Harmony has treated Cadence like she is a fragile little mouse, but she knows that she is destined for far more and resents everyone walking on eggshells around her.
Luckily, Cadence has big plans to make all of that change. With auditions for the youth choir rapidly approaching, Cadence and her friends Faith and Zara are ready to give it their all --- and become the stars of the choir. Although Cadence knows she'll have to put aside her fear to accomplish her dreams, some quiet jealous from her friend begins to wear away at her confidence. How can her talent create so many issues? How can she put it out in the world while maintaining her friendship?
Winston writes a lovely protagonist in Cadence who little girls everywhere are sure to relate to. While her messages about faith and confidence can seem a bit overdone and obvious, Cadence's quiet personality provides a terrific balance. Readers will adore the many colorful characters who reside in Harmony, even while they become frustrated with the town's babying of Cadence. The themes of confidence, loyalty and fear may seem familiar at first glance, but Winston's cadenced writing and diverse population of characters will give these themes a fresh new look.
If you have a young reader who is quiet or timid and looking for the right push, THE SWEETEST SOUND is the perfect book to remind them that everyone has a talent worth celebrating.
Reviewed by Audrey Slater on January 25, 2017