Minna Pratt lives in a very interesting world, where each day she lives it to the fullest. She is an improving cello player who has lessons every day and should be practicing every day – though she doesn’t. She is in search of her vibrato, as she prays to God and Mozart and anyone else she thinks who might be able to help her get it. The book is filled with interesting characters, like her brother McGrew who has a very entertaining personality, and then there’s Lucas, the handsome boy who seems her age, joining their lessons to practice his viola. Lucas and Minna soon become goods friends that looks to develop into something else, while a competition is coming up in which they will be performing with their other classmates in a quartet to prove their abilities, as well as $100 cash prize for each of them. Minna grows more nervous as the book progresses, over her feelings for Lucas, how everyone else views her, the upcoming competition, and whether she will ever find her vibrato.
Patricia Maclachlan has created a lasting book with a full host of complex, believable characters, written in an almost stream of consciousness style – akin to Virginia Woolf’s The Waves—where there is not a firm beginning, middle, and end, but a series of flitterings in and out of the mind of Minna Pratt on what she is thinking, how she is feeling, and whatever else is going on. The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt is a very different children’s book that all should read for its uniqueness.
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Originally written on March 3rd 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.