9780152066086I buy my god-baby books for her birthday. Fortunately she still enjoys reading, so I have not yet become ‘the worst god-mother ever’ as predicted by one of my non-reading friends. My god-baby is actually 9 so not technically a baby, but I like the title. As much fun as it can be to buy books you’ve read and loved, doing so can sometimes put too much pressure on the recipient so this year I decided to buy books I hadn’t read, books I picked out specifically for her. My boss recommended A Crooked Kind of Perfect, by Linda Urban (Sandpiper, $6.99). Zoe, the main character, has musical aspirations, and I thought that would be good choice since the god-baby’s mother plays the clarinet and the god-baby in question takes piano lessons. (Sidebar: maybe some time I should write about all the times I spent at band and orchestra rehearsals in high school despite the fact that I wasn’t ever in the band or an orchestra — the things we do for our friends.) Although I never heard the final pronouncement, A Crooked Kind of Perfect was the first of her birthday books that the god-baby started reading and her initial reaction was enthusiastic — melodramatic, but enthusiastic: “I looooooooved the books you picked out! Thank you soooooooooo much!” kids. gotta love ’em. gotta not take ’em too seriously.

So now it’s my turn to read the books and yes, I did a great job picking them out (with help, of course), because A Crooked Kind of Perfect is kind of delightful. Zoe wants to be a pianist, more specifically she’d like to be a child prodigy on the piano. What she gets is an organ, more specifically the The Perfectone D-60. Pianists play at Carnegie Hall. Organists compete at the Peform-O-Rama organ competition. Zoe wants her two parents to be at her first competition. Zoe has a workaholic mother and an agoraphobic father. Zoe wants her best friend to remember that they are best friends and not spend so much time with Joella. Zoe gets Wheeler Diggs following her home after school. Zoe wants perfection. She finds a crooked kind of perfect.

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