Random House: Bringing You the Best in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children's Books
Authors
Books
Features
Newletters and Alerts

Buy now from Random House

  • Second Fiddle
  • Written by Rosanne Parry
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780375861666
  • Our Price: $6.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - Second Fiddle

Buy now from Random House

  • Second Fiddle
  • Written by Rosanne Parry
  • Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780375861963
  • Our Price: $16.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - Second Fiddle

Buy now from Random House

  • Second Fiddle
  • Written by Rosanne Parry
  • Format: Hardcover Library Binding | ISBN: 9780375961960
  • Our Price: $19.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - Second Fiddle

Buy now from Random House

  • Second Fiddle
  • Written by Rosanne Parry
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780375893506
  • Our Price: $6.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - Second Fiddle

Buy now from Random House

See more online stores - Second Fiddle

Buy now from Random House

  • Second Fiddle
  • Written by Rosanne Parry
    Read by Bri Knickerbocker
  • Format: Unabridged Audiobook Download | ISBN: 9780307747617
  • Our Price: $20.00
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - Second Fiddle

Second Fiddle

    Select a Format:
  • Book
  • eBook
  • Audiobook

Written by Rosanne ParryAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Rosanne Parry



eBook

List Price: $6.99

eBook

On Sale: March 22, 2011
Pages: 240 | ISBN: 978-0-375-89350-6
Published by : Random House Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books

Audio Editions

$39.00

Read by Bri Knickerbocker
On Sale: March 22, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-307-74760-0
More Info...

Read by Bri Knickerbocker
On Sale: March 22, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-307-74761-7
More Info...
Listen to an excerpt
Visit RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO to learn more about audiobooks.


Second Fiddle Cover

Bookmark,
Share & Shelve:

  • Add This - Second Fiddle
  • Email this page - Second Fiddle
  • Print this page - Second Fiddle
ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
AWARDS AWARDS
READER'S GUIDE READER'S GUIDE
Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

The author of Heart of a Shepherd offers another sensitive portrayal of military families, this time stationed abroad, in the city of Berlin at that historic time just after the Wall came down.

When 13-year-old Jody and her friends save a badly beaten Russian soldier from drowning, they put into motion a chain of events that will take them from Berlin to Paris and straight into danger. Jody must quickly learn to trust herself, because in the time directly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the border between friend and enemy is not as clear as it once was.

Award-winning author of Heart of a Shepherd Rosanne Parry offers a fast-paced, coming-of-age story filled with adventure, music, friendship, and intrigue.

Excerpt

1

Tuesday, May 22, 1990

West Berlin

If we had known it would eventually involve the KGB, the French National Police, and the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, we would have left that body in the river and called the Polizei like any normal German citizen; but we were Americans and addicted to solving other people's problems, so naturally, we got involved.

It began like every Tuesday afternoon. All the other kids from the American school on the army base at Zehlendorf went to the gym or the after-school matinee or the Scout meeting at the community center, but Giselle and Vivian and I took the S-Bahn to our music lesson in downtown West Berlin. Ordinarily, as soon as we found seats on the train, Vivian would get out her geometry book and Giselle would disappear under headphones with a new cassette from the latest girl rock star. If she remembered to bring extra headphones, I'd listen along, but usually I worked on writing my own music: minuets for the violin, mostly. Not nearly as hip as "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," but I had to start somewhere, and classical music was what I knew. Not that I'd admit this to just anyone, but classical music was what I loved--more than anything.

We were only five days away from the big Solo and Ensemble Contest in Paris. We'd been working on our competition piece, Pachelbel's Canon, since Christmas. Our music teacher thought we had a shot at first place in the twelve-to-fourteen-year-olds group, and Giselle's dad, General Johnson, had bragged to the entire brigade that we were going to clean up, so no pressure or anything. Not that I didn't love winning, but for me the big deal was that it was our first trip to Paris, and it would be our last time ever to perform together as a trio before the army moved Giselle and me back to the States.

So this time, Vivian and Giselle were listening to the Canon together on her Walkman. Vivian closed her eyes and hummed her part, and Giselle ran the fingerings of the tricky section with all the sixteenth notes. A German lady and her kids stared at us like usual. I used to think it was because Giselle was really pretty and kind of hard to miss because she was so tall, but after three years of riding the commuter train, I knew better. I'd never seen a black kid on the train; plenty of Turkish girls, but nobody as dark as Giselle.

We hopped off at the Potsdamer Platz and walked away from the park and museums and into the neighborhood of Kreuzberg, where our music teacher lived. We went right past Checkpoint Charlie--that guardhouse of Communism between the Soviet Union and the West. It was empty and dark as we walked past, abandoned as abruptly as the East Germans had voted out the Communist Party a few months before. The souvenir collectors and reporters had left months ago. Occasionally, we saw a few eager tourists chipping away at the sections of the Wall still standing, but today, nothing.

"So, Jody," Vivian said, "what do you want to see in Paris?"

"The Eiffel Tower," I said automatically. I loved tall things: roller coasters, bridges, the Statue of Liberty, the Space Needle. The upside of being a military kid was that you got to see a lot of cool places. The downside was that every time you made a friend, you had to move away.

"The Eiffel Tower? No way!" Giselle called over her shoulder. As usual, she was a half dozen strides ahead. "Everyone sees the Eiffel Tower. Boring! Let's go to the Racine Club."

"Where?" I said.

"It's a fencing school. The best one in all of France. My fencing master trained there, and he said he'd set up some bouts with the kids who are in training. Come on, it'll be fun!"

I watched one of Giselle's fencing matches last year. Right away I could see why fencing is not a sport on TV.

"Hello?" Vivian said. "This is Paris we're talking about--art museums? Ballet? Neither of you wants to go shopping?"

I, captain of the fashion clueless, shrugged.

"Let's see," Giselle said, turning to face us and extending both hands to weigh the options. "Shopping for fluffy, fruity-smelling French things or meeting Olympic-level athletes--tough call."

Giselle put her hands on her hips and looked down at Vivian, which is not hard even for me. Vivian was the size of your average fourth grader. Vivi glared right back, but it didn't have quite the same punch with her preppy girl clothes and Clark Kent glasses.

"How about this," I broke in as we rounded the corner and came to our music teacher's apartment house. "There's shopping on the Champs-Elysees, right?"

Vivian nodded and held open the door.

"Then we can go to the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the street--that's famous and tall, but not so dorky as the Eiffel Tower, okay?"

Giselle nodded and pushed the button for the elevator.

"And Giselle can, umm . . ."

"Stab anyone who tries to pickpocket us?" Vivian offered.

"Exactly!" I said. "You can stab them fifteen times if you like," I added, remembering how many touches made a match in fencing.

"Perfect!" Giselle said. "And while I go to jail, you two can go see a nice fluffy French ballet." She hip checked Vivian into the elevator as the door slid open and tugged my ponytail as she followed me in.

"I would bring you cake if you were in jail," I said.

"Yes," Vivi added. "Chocolate cake with a bomb inside and directions for your escape in secret code!"


From the Hardcover edition.
Rosanne Parry

About Rosanne Parry

Rosanne Parry - Second Fiddle
   ROSANNE PARRY spent her first years as a teacher in Taholah, Washington, on the Quinault Indian Reservation. There she learned to love the taste of alder-smoked, blueback salmon, the wind and the cold mists of the rain forest, the sounds of the ocean and the eagles, and the rhythm of a life that revolved around not the clock and the calendar, but the cycle of the salmon running up the river and returning to the ocean. While there she never met a child who could not tell her a story--usually one that included a monster of epic proportions. The writer she became had everything to do with the people she came to cherish and the land between the Pacific and the Olympic Mountains where stories seemed to grow out of the earth all around her, tall and sturdy as cedars. To learn more, please visit RosanneParry.com.
Awards

Awards

WINNER 2011 Kid's Indie Next List "Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers"
Teachers Guide

Teacher's Guide



TEACHING IDEAS

- Pages 18–19 and the top of page 22 mention some of the ups and downs of life as an “army brat”––the child of an army officer. What are some of the advantages of being an army brat? What might be difficult or stressful about this lifestyle? Do you think that Jody and her friends are better or worse off than kids who spend their whole childhood living in one town or city?

- On page 54, Jody talks about why she wanted to save the soldier (Arvo) without her father’s help. On page 87, she explains why she doesn’t want her mother’s help in getting to Paris. Why do you think Jody is so eager to do things without her parents’ help? What other examples can you find in the book of Jody’s independence and self-sufficiency?

- Read the Author’s Note at the end of the book. Also read pages 70–71 where Arvo contrasts life in the United States with life under Soviet communism. Discuss these differences, and why tearing down the Berlin Wall was such a big event in so many people’s lives.

 - Re-read the description, on page 116, of Jody’s “Canon for Three Friends.” How does the music express the different personalities of the girls? How does it express their unique friendship? Can you think of details or moments in the rest of the book that support the things the song is saying about Jody, Giselle, and Vivian? 
 
- On page 179, Jody says, “It wasn’t the first time I’d heard people clap, but before, it had always been an audience of parents. These people had no connection to me except the music, and I hadn’t even played anything fancy, but there was something in that response that I wanted in my life. It was like the moment when you know you’ve found a friend.” Discuss what Jody might mean by this. Why do you think this response is something she wants in her life? - On page 180, Mrs. Montoyo refers to the girls as “American gypsies,” and says, “Good for you to have your music. . . . It is a thing . . . a thing large . . . but light to carry.” What do you think she means by this?  
 
- On page 21, Jody, who plays “second violin” in the girls’ ensemble, says of herself: “. . . me with the secondhand sweaters and home haircuts. I’m not the type to attract fame.” How does Jody’s story in Second Fiddle support or contradict the way she describes herself?  

- Why do you think the author chose “Second Fiddle” as the title for the book?

- At the end of the book, reflect back: Do you think Jody and her friends did the right thing in sneaking Arvo to Paris without their parents’ knowledge and playing in the contest without their music teacher’s supervision? Why or why not?  

- Discuss some of the things the girls, Jody especially, might have learned from their experience in Paris.


Your E-Mail Address
send me a copy

Recipient's E-Mail Address
(multiple addresses may be separated by commas)

A personal message: