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Booktalking "The Lucy Variations" by Sara Zarr
Sixteen-year-old Lucy Beck-Moreau is a former concert pianist who quit. No more piano for Lucy, not even for fun. This contrasts starkly with her 10-year-old brother Gustav, who now studies with Will and spends many practice hours at the keyboard.
Getting up for high school since she is no longer privately tutored, spending so many hours in school that seem pointless when her learning used to be condensed... this is the new life that Lucy experiences.
Deep talk with Will about piano and what it means to her... crushing on her English teacher Mr. Charles... negotiating her relationship with best friend Reyna, and dealing with her cantankerous grandfather fill Lucy's life. Martin, the family's worker, ensures that Lucy is fed well and has someone to talk to.
Pressure to excel and win at all costs gnaws at Gus. Lucy exerts her best big sister effort in an attempt to help him regulate his moods.
Parties at Will's house with famous musicians intrigue Lucy with possibilities and kinship that she has not found for awhile. Playing in a showcase or for fun and going to music school -- the possibilities of her life extend before her.
It is awesome to read books with characters who are passionate about their pursuits.