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blurb

Joanna is a typical ten-year-old girl who reluctantly moves from London to a country manor house - Fortuna House. She discovers a grand piano in a top-floor storage room, and strangely, an eccentric gentleman knocks at the front door at the same time - offering piano lessons…

The piano is unique. Joanna soon falls under its spell and together with her first piano book: Tunes to Take You Back, Joanna begins a magical journey that takes her places she never expected…to the Second World War, the First World War, early-Victorian and mid-Georgian times!

Interspersed with creative ideas and light-hearted observations on modern family living, this story feeds imaginations and gives realistic, albeit brief, insights into bygone eras…

Perfect for 8-12-year olds...boys and girls alike, with black and white pages to add to the reading experience...despite everything being far from black and white!

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reviews

I liked it very much indeed - I loved the characters and the captivating idea of a time travelling piano. I felt the relationships between the characters were natural and believable and the pace of the story worked well - nothing went too fast or too slow. It feels very original and also combines an entertaining story with historical information - but in an interesting and affecting way, absorbing the reader into the story while at the same time teaching them important facts about our history. I also loved the combination of realism against the magical elements - they are married well together with an element of almost Enid Blyton...

I was an avid reader at that age and Joanna and the piano is a story that would have really appealed to me.

EMMA PHOENIX-KELLY

ENGLISH TEACHER

*****

Written in the present tense with all the breathless stream of consciousness of a bright, excitable 10 year old girl, Joanna and the Piano is part time-travelling fantasy, part comment on modern family life.

When her father is made redundant, Joanna is forced to leave the city home and friends she loves to start a new life in an Elizabethan country house. While waiting for the WiFi to be installed, she and her father discover a beautiful Bösendorfer grand piano. Released from storage, the piano is installed in the living room for Joanna to play, and almost as soon as her fingers touch the keys, the mysterious Herr Mozhoven (get it?!) appears at the front door to give Joanna piano lessons.

Of course these lessons are not the usual tedious fare of scales and pieces: instead, under Herr Mozhoven’s tutelage, Joanna embarks on a series of time-travelling adventures – to the First and Second World Wars, and to the Victorian and Georgian eras. The piano becomes the agent of these intriguing and exciting adventures.

The narrative is imaginative and fast-paced, mixing creative ideas with delightful fantasy and escapism, and observations on modern family life with insights into bygone times. Joanna is a charming, sympathetic personality, her character well defined and easy to identify with.

This is an enjoyable and exuberant read which will appeal to young readers aged 8-12.

FRANCES WILSON

PIANIST, BLOGGER & PIANO TEACHER

THE CROSS-EYED PIANIST

*****

OK, so I don’t belong to the target audience (I’m pushing 50). I bought this for my daughter who enjoys history, but was intrigued and so read it! I loved the premise and the historical references woven into the episodes. The style is natural so it’s easy to relate to the characters. It’s also easy to visualise without being overtly descriptive. In fact I feel there’s a TV series in this somewhere! An unusual tale, well told, and refreshingly escapist. And fun!

ANTONIA FARRELL

*****

I enjoyed it. The language has a dexterity and sassy appeal and there are nice abstract descriptions. It also has a cinematic feel - moving at a good pace and with telescopic detail…GREAT FUN!

JOHN HEAD

*****

 
 
 
 

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