As Chopsticks opens, Glory Fleming, child prodigy that critics hailed as “the Brecht of the Piano,” has gone missing from the rest home where she was staying and being treated for exhaustion. Only 17 at the time, Glory has already played at top venues in the U.S. and Europe, and she is renowned for her modern innovations on classical pieces.
From this beginning, the story of what happened to Glory is slowly revealed through scrapbook cuttings, photos, drawings and more. We see photos of her parents’ marriage, her pregnant mother, and notices of her mother’s death when Glory was only 8. As she grows, her progress is send through recital programs from Carnegie Hall, articles in “The New Yorker,” and photos of Glory with her piano-teacher dad.
In high school a boy from Argentina move next door, and Glory’s life expands a bit. They start to spend time together, sharing playlists, texting each other, and hanging out. But when Glory is scheduled on a European tour and Frank’s grades spiral down, both begin to spin out of control.
Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral use innovative storytelling techniques to keep you turning pages looking for clues to what happens to Glory and Frank. Readers can check out links to YouTube videos that highlight performances from the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks, Hoagy Carmichael playing the Chopsticks waltz and more. The combination of words, images and video create a compelling story through to the end.
I recommend Chopsticks for readers aged 14 and up.
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review.