Browse By

       Follow Me on Pinterest

Tweets by @sweetonbooks

In accordance with FTC Guidelines, Sweet on Books would like to tell you about
the books that we review. While we often purchase our own books, we do also receive free books from publishers
and authors. We are never compensated for our reviews.

Unsubscribe from our newsletter





Capture the Flag
Kate Messner


Sweet Sites for Children's Books

Seven Impossible Things...
100 Scope Notes
A Fuse #8 Production
A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
Books 4 Your Kids
Chicken Spaghetti
Charlotte's Library
From the Mixed-Up Files...
Jen Robinson's Book Page
Just One More Book
Literacy Learning Zone
Mid-Grade Re(ad)action
Middle Grade Mania
Ms. Yingling Reads
Nerdy Book Club
Pragmatic Mom
Smack Dab in the Middle
The Book Smugglers
The Children's Book Review
The Guardian: Children's Books
The Miss Rumphius Effect
The Reading Tub
There's a Book
Through the Looking Glass
Waking Brain Cells
A Crooked Kind of Perfect PDF Print E-mail
Buy from Amazon

A Crooked Kind of Perfect
Linda Urban

Or shop INDIE! Shop Indie Bookstores

What You Need to Know:
• Zoe wants nothing more than to play the piano, but in her family, that just may be impossible.
• Zoe's dad has anxieties associated with driving, crowds and leaving the house.
• The story is told from Zoe's perspective, so readers really get to hear what she's thinking and feeling.
• Other than cell phones, there is limited mention of modern technology, giving the story a timeless sense.
• Linda Urban is also the author of the middle grade novel, The Center of Everything.
• Did you know that Linda Urban used to work in an independent bookstore?
Sweet Book Summary:
What a perfect middle grade book! The voice of the main character comes alive off the pages, and the imagery really draws the reader into the story. It's not overly descriptive though - it's straightforward and it moves quickly. In fact, A Crooked Kind of Perfect reminds me a little of a Judy Blume book. The main character, Zoe, is easy to relate to and she just feels so real. At ten years old, she's funny, clever, determined and thoughtful. You can't help but root for her!

Zoe's dream is to play the piano, but with her dad's anxieties and her mom's work schedule, she somehow finds herself learning to play the Perfectone D-60, a lowly organ. On top of that, she's dealing with changing friendships and first crushes. Zoe doesn't wallow in her misfortune, though. Despite setbacks and mistakes, she stays focused and true to herself. She may not have the comfort of her ex-best friend, Emma, but she finds support in some surprising places. Mabelline Person, her quirky organ instructor and Wheeler, the 5th grade "bad boy" both help her in very unexpected ways.

Although A Crooked Kind of Perfect includes some serious subjects - identity, friendship, family, fears, financial instability - it touches on them in a delicate way and then brings the reader back to a safe place. The characters are charming and unpredictable, and they leave the reader wanting to hear more from them, even after the story ends. You just can't go wrong with this one!
Author: Linda Urban Illustrator: n/a Published: 2009, 224 pages
Themes: Determination, Family Life, Friendship, Good Book Club Selection, Music, Self-Awareness/Discovery
Sweet Discussion Questions:
• What would you like to learn to do as much as Zoe wants to learn how to play the piano?
• Why does Wheeler like to hang out at Zoe's house?
• In what ways are their families different? In what ways are they the same?
• What makes Wheeler a good friend?
• Why does Zoe's dad spend so much time at home?
• Is Emma a good friend? How does Emma and Zoe's friendship change?
• How would you describe Zoe's relationship with her mom?
• What is your prediction for Zoe once the book ends?
• How does the story affect how you feel about making mistakes?
If You Liked This Book, Try:
Pie, Sarah Weeks
The Upside of Ordinary, Susan Lubner
The Dirt Diary, Anna Staniszewski
This recommendation was written by: Melissa G.

Your name:
Your email: