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The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt by…
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The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt

by Patricia MacLachlan

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Minna wishes for many things. She wishes she understood the quote taped above her mother's typewriter:Fact and fiction are different truths. She wishes her mother would stop writing long enough to really listen to her. She wishes her house were peaceful and orderly like her friend Lucas's. Most of all, she wishes she could find a vibrato on her cello and play Mozart the way he deserves to be played.

Minna soon discovers that some things can't be found-they just have to happen. And as she waits for her vibrato to happen, Minna begins to understand some facts and fictions about herself. From Amazon ( )
  BookMystique | Apr 16, 2013 |
With my recent reading of MacLachlan's Waiting for the Magic, this author is fast becoming one of my favorites. I found this older book of hers, and devoured it in one evening. The city setting and tone reminded me of some of Madeleine L'Engle's books and of Anastasia Krupnik, by Lois Lowry. Minna, an accomplished cellist at 11, lives with her brother and rather eccentric parents. Her mother, a writer, tacks strange (to Minna) phrases above her typewriter. The hardest one for Minna to understand is: "Fact and Fiction are different truths." How can fiction be truth? thinks the literal-minded girl. Then she meets Lucas, a new member of her music group, who plays the viola, and has very orderly, calm parents. Over the course of several months, Minna learns facts and fictions about herself and her family. The novel is at times, drily humorous, warm, and thoughtful, my favorite type of writing. Minna has a good, strong relationship with her one year younger brother, McGrew (what an unusal name!), who puts everything to song, driving his teachers crazy, but delighting friends and family. This makes me think about the habits of some kids at school, and how they may be annoying in a school environment, but appreciated at home. I love all the other characters, too: Minna's music instructor, Porch, who loves Mozart; Willie, the street player who always returns Minna's donations; her psychologist father, who is gentle; her mother, so focused on her writing; Lucas' housekeeper, Twig (what a great name!), a crazy driver and briliant cook who keeps Lucas' secret (frogs in his bedroom); Emily Parmalee, the catcher on McGrew's baseball team. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
FACT AND FICTION ARE DIFFERENT TRUTHS
"Think about the music, not just the notes." Porch to students, p. 83; also THINK ABOUT THE STORY, NOT JUST THE WORDS
"Outside it was overcast, with a light that softened them all." p.107 - "softened" is a perfect description
"Dog falls into her lap in a heap of love." p. 108
The ending is perfect! ( )
  bookwren | Mar 17, 2012 |
I snagged this MacLachlan book from a BookCrossing bookshelf at my local coffee house, looking forward to an easy read between my more "grown-up" novels. In my opinion, The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt is an unusual book. For young readers unfamiliar with music, understanding and enjoying the short novel may be difficult. Even with 7 years as a musician under my belt, I felt a bit intimidated by the book. With numerous references to famous composers and an extensive musical vocabulary, the charming characters may not make up for the interest-specific plot and writing style. What's more, I often felt unnerved while reading, but am not sure if this is because of Minna's own disconnected personality, or MacLachlan's writing style.
Would I suggest this book to a young musician? Definintely. To my little brother or sister? Probably not. ( )
  Audacity | Apr 29, 2008 |
When I first read this I identified a lot with Minna, as I couldn't find my vibrato and played the 'cello. The language is often poetic and the scene when they play Mozart in the dark is beautiful. ( )
  doloreshaze55 | Mar 7, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064402657, Paperback)

Minna wishes for many things. She wishes she understood the quote taped above her mother's typewriter:Fact and fiction are different truths. She wishes her mother would stop writing long enough to really listen to her. She wishes her house were peaceful and orderly like her friend Lucas's. Most of all, she wishes she could find a vibrato on her cello and play Mozart the way he deserves to be played.

Minna soon discovers that some things can't be found-they just have to happen. And as she waits for her vibrato to happen, Minna begins to understand some facts and fictions about herself.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:33 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

An eleven-year-old cellist learns about life from her eccentric family, her first boyfriend, and Mozart.

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