________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 11. . . .November 18, 2016


Jay Versus The Saxophone of Doom.

Kara Kootstra. Pictures by Kim Smith.
Toronto, ON: Puffin Canada, 2016.
182 pp., hardcover & epub, $18.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-670-06940-8 (hc.), ISBN 978-0-14-319375-3 (epub).

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Tabitha Nordby.

**** /4



Itís not that I donít like music. I just lack a few of the skills required to play it. Like rhythm. And pitch. And everything else that has to do with music. EVIDENCE: My parents have a video of me in my very first school play. I was in grade one, and we had worked for months to prepare a musical presentation all about how the caterpillar turns into a (SPOILER ALERT) butterfly.

Now, I realize that it is not expected that a seven-year-old is going to give a flawless performance in a grade school play, but I was TERRIBLE. It is seriously hard to watch. I am completely out of time with all of the actions, and my squeaky, out-of-tune voice is clearly heard above everyone elseís (I was singing super loud because when youíre seven you donít know you should be embarrassed yet).


Jay (short for Jason) lives in Parry Sound with his family. Although his mom is embarrassingly loud, his dad is a wanna-be-hipster, his sister, Jodie is perpetually annoyed, and his brother, Dylan ignores him half the time, Jayís life is running pretty smoothly. Or it was - until this year.

     Jay is starting grade six, and it hasnít been a great start. His clothes are uncool, the school bully is in his classroom, and, to make matters worse, Jayís just discovered that this year they are required to take a full hour of music. Which means that Jay has to learn to play an instrument. In front of the whole class. Solo.

     Itís not that Jayís afraid of pressure. He plays center on the Parry Sound Shamrocks (the same team Bobby Orr played on as a kid), and he can hold his own. He may not be the biggest or the fastest, but heís got skills. But playing an instrument in front of people by himself? This is not going to be Jayís year.

     Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Dork Diaries will enjoy this story of grade six gone awry as experienced by the funny and endearing Jay Roberts.


Tabitha Nordby is a Readersí Advisory and Reference Instructor in the Library and Information Technology Program at Red River College in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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