Jody and her friends, Giselle and Vivian, can’t believe their music teacher has to cancel their trip to Paris for a musical competition. It was supposed to be the last chance they would have to play together before Jody and Giselle leave the U.S. Army base in Berlin and return to the U.S.
Then they witness the attempted murder of a Soviet soldier by his own officers. The girls realize the only way they can truly save his life is to smuggle him out of Berlin. And that trip to Paris may be just the way to do it—if they can figure out how to pull it off.
Second Fiddle by Rosanne Parry is set just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. As children of military or diplomatic parents, the girls in the story all live in homes that are highly disciplined. They’re good kids, and because they’ve moved often they know how to adapt to different environments. But Giselle and Jody are nervous about their impending move. They’re not sure they will fit in with the kids at school in the states, and they don’t want to lose their friendship in the process.
Their decision to take the soldier to Paris, and the events that follow, can provide great things to discuss in a mother-daughter book club with girls aged 9 to 13. Issues to talk about include kids taking on responsibility, asserting their independence, contributing to important family decisions, and deciding whom they can trust. There’s also plenty to talk about in regards to the Soviet Union, the Berlin Wall, military family life, and visiting Paris. I highly recommend it.
The author sent me a copy of this book to review.