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The Rising Star of Rusty Nail by Lesley M.…
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The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

by Lesley M. M. Blume

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Showing 5 of 5
What a charming book! Very reminiscent of the American Girls series and promises to be loved by readers of historical fiction. This smart, humorous story tells the tale of an aspiring young pianist in small-town Minnesota. It raises some great questions about getting to know someone before making snap judgements and also shows that winning isn't everything. I couldn't put this one down! ( )
1 vote anniecase | Dec 5, 2009 |
Enjoyable read.

Talented kid aspires to

fame in "Red Scare" times.
1 vote librarianlk | Oct 27, 2008 |
Rusty Nail is a tiny town in Minnesota with one of everything. It’s 1953 – 54. Franny is 10, and she her best friend Sandy create mischief all over town. Franny, however, is a child prodigy on the piano, so her practice and lessons are important to her too. She has an arch-rival, Nancy, whose father is rich; she plays the piano well too, but not with the passion Franny does. The local lawyer “marries” a Russian lady, which gets the town all stirred up since McCarthy is in the midst of his anti-Communist agenda. The Russian, Olga, turns out to be an international pianist who eventually gives Franny lessons, but in time, she also gives Nancy lessons too. There is a big competition where both girls compete. You'll have to read the book to find out the outcome, but suffice it to say that lessons are learned and that it all works out in the end, even if it is in an unexpected way. This book is sweetly innocent, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I don’t know if the kids will. I love the pictures of small-town life in the 50’s, but I’m not sure my students will relate to that. The message is good – persevere in your pursuit of dreams, stay positive, and work hard, and above all, don’t judge a person by what you initially see.
( )
  hobbitprincess | Sep 14, 2008 |
Living in the tiny town of Rusty Nail, Minnesota, Franny is certain that her talents as a pianist will forever go unnoticed. She's already outgrown the one piano teacher in town and her parents don't have the money to pay for a fancy teacher like her arch nemesis Nancy's. Then Franny gets a stroke of good luck. One of the young bachelors in town gets married to a Russian woman and brings her back to Rusty Nail. The town is agog and buzzing with gossip. Imagine... a Commie in their very own town! When Franny discovers that Olga is an accomplished pianist, she will stop at nothing until Olga agrees to give her lessons. But can she convince her? And is Olga a Russian spy? And will the rumor-mongering townspeople drive Olga away before Franny becomes rich and famous?

The book started slowly, but builds quickly after Olga arrives in town. I thought it was a great portrait of a small American town during the Cold War. Franny is a likeable character. She's flawed, but she also has integrity that prevails in the end. I was rooting for her the whole way. Olga is another well-developed character. She's steeped in mystery, but her secrets start trickling out eventually. It was like piecing together a puzzle. ( )
1 vote abbylibrarian | Mar 8, 2008 |
Recommend for talented musical instrument playing kids & for info on McCarthy era. Characters not richly developed. ( )
  libnana | Nov 20, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375835245, Hardcover)

Franny Hansen is a 10-year-old piano prodigy living in Rusty Nail, Minnesota. Once the Coot Capitol of the world, in 1953 it's just a run-of-the-mill town with one traffic light and a bizarre cast of characters. She's long exhausted the talents of the town's only piano teacher and seems destined to perform at church events and school assemblies, until a mysterious Russian woman arrives in Rusty Nail. Franny's neighbors are convinced the "Commie" is a threat to their American way of life, but Franny's not so sure. Could this stranger be her ticket out of Rusty Nail?

Lesley M. M. Blume returns with the poignant and laugh-out-loud funny story of one girl's attempt to pursue the American dream in small town America.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:42 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the small town of Rusty Nail, Minnesota, in the early 1950s, musically talented ten-year-old Franny wants to take advanced piano lessons from newcomer Olga Malenkov, a famous Russian musician suspected of being a communist spy by gossipy members of the community.… (more)

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