Beethoven in Paradise

Beethoven in Paradise

3.0 2
by Barbara O'Connor
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Set in a trailer park called Paradise

"You're just wasting your God-given talents if you don't get yourself something besides a little ole harmonica to play." Wylene made it sound so easy. Martin had always like music -- liked to listen to it, liked to make up tunes in his head. But all he had to do was say the word "piano" to his father and all hell

Overview

Set in a trailer park called Paradise

"You're just wasting your God-given talents if you don't get yourself something besides a little ole harmonica to play." Wylene made it sound so easy. Martin had always like music -- liked to listen to it, liked to make up tunes in his head. But all he had to do was say the word "piano" to his father and all hell would break loose. His father thought music was for sissies, and was always mad at Martin for not being good at baseball. But with a lot of help from his friends Wylene and Sybil and his grandmother, Hazeline, Martin learns that, although he can't change his father, he can learn to stick up for himself. With humor, pathos, and a colorful cast of offbeat characters, Barbara O'Connor shows that there's room for genius wherever there's a place for compassion-- even in Paradise.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Martin, a 12-year-old musician, covets a violin in a pawnshop. "Quirky characters populate this promising first novel set in a South Carolina trailer park," said PW. Ages 10-13. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Karen Saxe
It's a dilemma, that of a child who feels that he doesn't belong in his family or in his environment. The child in this particular story is named Martin. He lives in a trailer park with his overbearing father and defeated mother. Martin would rather play his violin than baseball, and this is the source of his troubles with his father. Life is rough but happily, good triumphs over evil and Martin comes out a winner.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8Martin, almost 13, is musically talented and lives in a trailer park called Paradise. His macho father thinks that music is for wimps and that real boys play baseball, which Martin hates. Actually, when the story begins, Martin is something of a wimp, afraid to stand up to his father and assert himself. But as his love for music grows and as he finds allies in unexpected places, he discovers the inner resources he needs to get started on his own path. Sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, this very Southern novel is laden with local color and eccentric characters. O'Connor's use of specific detailsthe old Studebakers, the Little Debbies, the bacon grease everywhereseems a bit heavy-handed at first, but the author's skillful characterizations and graceful writing style save the day. Readers really get under Martin's skin, making his gradual transformation both realistic and gratifying. Like life, many of the problems here don't have easy answersand, like life, things don't always go the way one might expect them to. The theme of finding oneself despite misunderstanding parents will attract middle school kids. An intriguing first novel from a writer to watch.Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
For every child who was ever forced to play sports, a kindred spirit: Martin, 12, the funny, angst-ridden, musically talented hero of O'Connor's first novel. "Paradise" is the name of the South Carolina trailer park where Martin lives with his long- suffering mother, sadistic father, and a peanut gallery of eccentric characters: ultra-shy Wylene, a handkerchief-factory worker who is Martin's closest friend and fellow music-lover; the scrawny, chain-smoking Hazeline, who wants her beloved grandson to stand up to his self-centered father, Ed, who believes that music is for sissies. Ed bullies the boy for daydreaming and pressures him to play on the Little League team, but he can't smother Martin's interest in a violin that he spies in a secondhand store. Wylene's purchase of the violin enables Martin to demonstrate his real talent and to experience genuine happiness; its destruction, in Ed's hands, induces Martin to take his first steps toward his destiny. Readers will relish this trip down South, and they couldn't ask for a better guide than O'Connor, who captures a young boy's heart and holds it out as a gift.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466809949
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
09/10/1999
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,196,479
File size:
166 KB
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

Barbara O'Connor is the author of numerous acclaimed books for children, including Me and Rupert Goody, Greetings from Nowhere and How to Steal a Dog. She has been awarded the Parents' Choice Gold and Silver Awards, the Massachusetts Book Award, and the Dolly Gray Award, among many honors. As a child, she loved dogs, salamanders, tap dancing, school, and even homework. Her favorite days were when the bookmobile came to town. She was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and now lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts, a historic seaside village not far from Plymouth Rock.


Barbara O’Connor is the author of numerous acclaimed books for children, including Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia, How to Steal a Dog, The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis, and The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester. She has been awarded the Parents’ Choice Gold and Silver Awards, the Massachusetts Book Award, the Kansas William Allen White Award, the South Carolina Children's Book Award, the Indiana Young Hoosier Award, the South Dakota Children's Book Award, and the Dolly Gray Award, among many honors. As a child, she loved dogs, salamanders, tap dancing, school, and even homework. Her favorite days were when the bookmobile came to town. She was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and now lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts, a historic seaside village not far from Plymouth Rock.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Beethoven in Paradise 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
I've been following Barbara O'Connor's writing since Fame And Glory in Freedom, Georgia.  I think I've read everything that she's written since Fame And Glory, but I haven't read everything she's written before it.  Beethoven in Paradise is her first novel. One of the things I've always liked about O'Connor's writing is her quirky, well-developed characters.  I've wondered if her characters were always quirky or if she developed that as her writing style.  This book answered that question:  Her characters were quirky right from the start.  As in the other books she's written, the setting is as much of a character and an influence as the people. Again, as in other books, I love how she resisted the urge to tie up the story in a tidy, happy bow.  The story ends on a positive note, but not all the problems have been solved. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks dumb