book review, book tour, children’s fiction, childrens, fantasy, Middle Grade

Book Tour Review: Music Boxes by Tonja Drecker

About the book

“I only desire your talent…”

Twelve-year-old Lindsey McKay’s biggest dream is to be a famous ballerina. But after moving to New York, she ends up at the Community Center with a teacher who’s a burly bear in tights.

When she meets Madame Destinée, the teacher of a top dance school who offers her classes for free, Lindsey can’t believe her luck. In exchange, she must perform in the school’s exclusive midnight shows, ones sure to make her a star. But something’s not right…

One by one, the other dancers disappear. Each time they do, a music box with a figurine just like the missing ballerina joins Madame Destinée’s growing collection. If Lindsey doesn’t discover the truth about the dance school, she might end up a tiny figurine herself.

My Review

Twelve year old Lindsey finds the move from sleepy Nebraska to bustling New York City difficult, especially as it’s all so her eight year old violin prodigy sister, Bridget, can attend Juilliard. 

What about Lindsey’s ballet talent? Mum and Dad mustn’t think much of it, as she’s relegated to classes in the community center with old Mr Lagunov. 

When Lindsey meets Madame Destinee, an invitation to join her prestigious ballet school seems almost too good to be true. So good, in fact, that Lindsey is willing to overlook Madame Destinee’s demands and keep it secret from her family. 

When the mysteries surrounding the school multiply, can Lindsey escape or will she become trapped like those before her?

I loved this book. It was full of magic and had a delightfully dark undercurrent that reminded me of Coraline by Neil Gaiman. 

Lindsey was a great character. It was easy to sympathize with her difficulties moving from friends and a big house in Nebraska to a completely different life in a cramped apartment in the Big Apple. It was understandable that even though she loved her little sister, she struggled with the changes and sacrifices the whole family had to make in order for Bridget to go to Juilliard. 

Lindsey’s family are all very likable and their dynamic was well described. Her relationship with Bridget was particularly well done. I loved how the author handled Lindsey’s jealousy and fear that her own talent was overlooked, while simultaneously showing that the two sisters were close and loved each other. 

The other characters are well drawn. I liked Lindsey’s friendship with Ellie and Robert in the ballet school. Madame Destinee was bewitching in all the right ways, and Broussard the dog was cute. 

Ballet and music boxes are both full of magic and wonder, and I loved how the author combined them in this story. The ballet school and Jeannot Broussard’s inventions were so compelling, with just the right amount of darkness, that I wished they were real as I read about them. 

There is something so alluring about the beautiful illusion, both in real life as well as fiction. You know you are walking into a wondrous trap, but the enticement is so strong you almost don’t care. 

I really enjoyed this original, creative, magical story and I highly recommend it. 

I award Music Boxes

About the Author

Like so many people in the literary world, I wear many hats—a writer, a kidlit reviewer, a blogger, freelance translator, farmer and mother. As a writer, I’ve published stories for magazines as well as several short stories including In the Shadow of the Eagle’s Eye in Real Girls Don’t Rust; Meringue, Murder or Marzipan in Full Dark; A Glowwormwhich was published as an Ubook through Black and White Pubishing. My debut middle grade novel, Music Boxes, released through Dancing Lemur Press.

Outside of these achievements, I’ve spent much of my life living in Europe with my family of six and enjoyed exploring forgotten castles, experiencing the rich history, and diving into various cultures. Currently, I reside in the Ozarks and am fulfilling one life dream of running a small farm. (But this is by no means the last dream on the list). When I’m not tending chickens, cows, and repairing broken fence lines, you’ll find me nibbling on chocolate, sitting next to our tiny waterfall with a book in my hand, or day dreaming in the forest…and always with a cup of tea.

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11 thoughts on “Book Tour Review: Music Boxes by Tonja Drecker”

  1. Your review has me wanting to pick up my own book and read it again. Thank you so much, and while reading the comments, I think I just found a new author to look into, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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