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A Crooked Kind of Perfect

Linda Urban saved contemporary middle grade fiction for me. I'd read a run of earnest, well-meaning books featuring Issues with a Capital I and kids who bore no resemblance to any kids living or dead. I was about to take a break from the real-world when on a grumpy whim, I picked up Hound Dog True.

And adored it. And A Crooked Kind of Perfect is just the same level of adorableness.
Zoe Elias is going to be a concert pianist and play Carnegie Hall. But her plan hits a snag when her anxious father is conned into buying a Perfectone D-Go organ with 36 (36!) orchestra like sounds instead of a piano.  The organ also comes with lessons from ginger ale swilling Mabelline Person who wants her to play "Green Acres" and "The Ballad of Gilligan's Island." Not exactly some you can debut at Canrnegie Hall.

I loved, loved, loved A Crooked Kind of Perfect. Loved her mom who seems to love spreadsheets more than her daughter and I loved Wheeler Diggs, who follows Zoe home and becomes best friends with her father. And I cried along with Zoe when her former best friend Emma snidely sets aside Zoe's present of rainbow socks because no one wears socks anymore.

Linda Urban writes quiet girls better than any writer out there. Being a quiet kid myself (albeit one without a Perfectone D-Go) her books ring absolutely true. They are filled with heart and above all, they are authentical and honest about the messiness of life and love.