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>More Music

>Miss Pod is happy that Claire’s latest Monthly Special compiles books about music.

And here’s an old favorite–one of the best evocations of music I’ve read is Bruce Brooks’ YA novel Midnight Hour Encores (Harper, 1986).

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. GraceAnne LadyHawk says:

    >What an excellent list!

    You know, I hated Midnight Hour Encores, and I do not remember why. Sigh.
    I loved Gillian Cross’ Chartbreak which evoked the power of music for me in magical ways.

  2. Roger Sutton says:

    >It might have been the ending, GraceAnne–very controversial. But BB has the peculiar talent of being able to write about music in a way that makes you want to rush out and listen to whatever piece he’s writing about.

    I’ve had the pleasure of music-shopping with Bruce several times. We have very different tastes–“you like divas in big dresses” he said to me once. Too true. And when I was at his house a couple of months ago, he played me something I mistook for street noise until he pointed out that it was coming from the speakers!

  3. >This is way off-topic, so promptly ignore me, but when you typed “one of the best evocations of music I’ve read,” it brought to my mind some of my favorite movie scenes with characters trying in vain to convey their love of music: The scene in “Philadelphia” where Tom Hanks’ character is trying to describe his love of arias to Denzel Washington’s character while an aria’s playing and the camera’s swirling and it’s all very red — well, it makes me collapse. And that scene in “Children of a Lesser God” in which James Leeds is trying to show in the air with his hands his love of that Bach piece to Sarah, who is deaf. Oh my. Perfection.

    I’m done now. Ignore me.

  4. >Oh, sheesh! I HATED that scene in Philadelphia (to my taste, oh so cloying, and did the movie have to force one more point about the intelligence and sensitivity of gay men down our throats?) and I never saw the movie of Children of a Lesser God (they changed the ending of the play, which to me ruined the whole point). I do remember vividly the moment in the play when Sarah tells John Rubinstein that she can hear the music, and he realizes she feels the vibrations in the floor.

    Anyway, my favorite book that features music is The Beethoven Medal by K. M. Peyton. But that probably tells you more about me than about the book–give me a protagonist who’s hot enough and I’ll follow him anywhere. I knew a librarian in Lexington, MA who used to call Patrick Pennington, the tortured hero of The Beethoven Medal, “the sexiest fictitious figure since Rhett Butler.”

  5. >Huh. . . the ending of Midnight Hour Encores never struck me as controversial–but then that may be because I approached it simply as a reader, long before the thought of being a librarian ever crossed my mind.

    My friend and I (both fatherless) used to discuss the relative merits of Cabot “Taxi” Spooner and Atticus Finch as fathers. It’s a pity I never thought to write about one of them for one of the cloying father’s day assignments we used to get in school.

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