Midnight Hour Encores

Midnight Hour Encores

4.6 5
by Bruce Brooks, Joel P. Johnson
     
 

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On the Road

Sibilance T. Spooner thinks she's one of the world's more promising cellists. The world thinks so too. Given up by her mother on the day she was born, she believes she has almost raised herself—with just a bit of guidance from her unconventional father, Taxi.

When Sib finally asks Taxi to take her to meet her mother for the first time

Overview

On the Road

Sibilance T. Spooner thinks she's one of the world's more promising cellists. The world thinks so too. Given up by her mother on the day she was born, she believes she has almost raised herself—with just a bit of guidance from her unconventional father, Taxi.

When Sib finally asks Taxi to take her to meet her mother for the first time, she knows it might mean breaking away from the man who has raised her. Finding your own path often means leaving those you love, and Sib is willing to take the risk. Yet as she and her dad wind their way across the country to San Francisco, Sib discovers she may not be as "self-made" as she thought. And as she learns more about the man she thought she knew, she finds out it's not simply her music that makes her special, but also the love from the parent she might have to leave behind.

1986 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)
1987 Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book)
Best Books of 1986 (SLJ)
Best of the 80's (BL)
Young Adult Choices for 1988 (IRA)
1987 Teachers' Choices (IRA)
1987 Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library)
Best of the 80's (English Journal)


About the Author

Bruce Brooks was born in Virginia and began writing fiction at age ten. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1972 and from the University Of Iowa Writer's Workshop in 1980. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, a magazine writer, newsletter editor, movie critic, teacher and lecturer.

Bruce Brooks has twice received the Newbery Honor, first in 1985 for Moves Make the Man, and again in 1992 for What Hearts. He is also the author ofEverywhere, Midnight Hour Encores, Asylum for Nightface, Vanishing, and Throwing Smoke. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Editorial Reviews

Katherine Paterson
Brooks has turned his considerable storytelling powers to the world of music and the coming of age of a prodigy. A terrific book. —The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780064470216
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/15/1988
Series:
Trophy Keypoint Book Series
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.68(d)
Lexile:
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

When I was nine, suddenly all the other girls in the fourth grade were horse freaks. They sat around in class with their hands curved over the tops of their desks so the teacher couldn't see they were drawing deformed stallions on the backs of their spelling tests and lettering sweaty names like stormy and flicker on their notebooks. It would have been bad enough if they were writing boys' names; boys I could have understood. I knew that someday we were all supposed to get into boys. But horses? Nobody I knew had grown up to marry a horse.

I tried to consider liking horses. I even tried to draw a horse myself, after reading about them in a couple of my encyclopedias, but I stopped after the first foot. Horses run on what is really one of their toes. It hurt just to think about that.

I decided the reason I wasn't fascinated with horses might be that I had never seen one. I already knew the girls in my class didn't own horses, but at least a few of them had seen them somewhere. So I did what I sometimes do when one of my investigations hits a gap. I asked Taxi.

What would your father do if you asked him to show you some horses? He'd say, �Sure, honey,� and put down his newspaper or book or TV Guide and get you into the car for a twenty-minute drive into the nearby country for a peek at a few of the animals in a local stable. If you lived in Washington, D.C., like us, your dad wouldn't even have to drive twenty minutes, because there are stables in Rock Creek Park right in the middle of town. �There, sweetie pie,� your dad would say, waving his arm at a barn or a circled fence inside which a bunch of the things snorted andtiptoed and shivered. �There's some horses.�

But my father is a little different. Yes, he put down his book. Yes, he said, �Sure, honey,� and got me into the car. Yes, he started driving toward the country. But he didn't stop for almost six hours, and when he did, it wasn't near a stable. It was in the middle of miles of sand dunes, where we cooked dinner over a fire and spent the night in a tent.

When he woke me up before dawn the next morning, he didn't mention horses. He handed me a cup of coffee in the dark and waited while I drank it and ate an apple. Then in complete silence he led me on a stumbly climb across a thousand sand dunes as the sky got less black. We stopped suddenly ten feet from the top of one dune. The sky got lighter at the edges, turning

as pink as somebody's gums. Taxi didn't say anything, except to ask if I was cold and offer me his sweater, which I took, also without saying anything.Then all of a sudden he cocked his head and beckoned me and we climbed with him in the lead. He turned and pushed me up ahead for the last couple of steps. And then zhing, I was standing on the very top edge of a straight--fall sixty-foot sand dune, looking across half a mile of pale beach dotted with pools, at the ocean, which somehow I didn't expect, even with all that sand. The sun was just untucking itself over the sea off in the distance and the sky was turning pink and yellow. There was a breeze, thick and warm, and I have just forgotten completely about horses because it's pretty nice out there, and who cares about short-haired animals that run on single toes.

Taxi cares, that's who. Taxi cares about anything you ask him about. Put him in motion and you can't just turn him off. He sets things up so well, sometimes you'd think he controls everything, but he really doesn't. He set this one up perfectly, though, because just as I am doing my city-girl-marvels-at-nature routine, I suddenly notice that the pounding of the surf is getting louder from a specific direction, the way a secondary theme sneaks into melody from the violas in an orchestra. And when I look in that direction, off to my left, instead of surf I see a sudden wild spray of beautiful monsters from Mars swirl out from behind a dune, gracefully rolling toward me, not snorting or shivering but just running, running on the flat beach beneath me, splashing in the edges of the tide and emptying those little pools with a single stroke of a hoof.

Taxi doesn't have to wave his hand and say, �There, sweetie pie. There's some horses.� He stands behind me so quietly I don't even know he's there, watching while the herd runs by and runs away, down the empty beach without losing speed, until all I can see is an occasional sparkle in the growing sunlight when one of them smashes a pool. I stare for a few minutes. After a while, Taxi's hand lands on my forearm like a confident little bird, and I turn, and he leads me back to the car. We don't say anything, really. I sleep all the way home.

The next day I went to school, and when I watched the Hilarys and Jennifers write stormy!!! so urgently, I felt even further away from them than ever. But it wasn't Taxi's fault. I asked him to show me something and he did. And this whole story is just to demonstrate why I only ask him to show me things that seem important. He doesn't fool around, and he doesn't give up, and he doesn't let go even when you would just as soon skip the inquiry midway through.

Three days ago I asked him to show me my mother.

Meet the Author

Bruce Brooks was born in Virginia and began writing fiction at age ten. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1972 and from the University Of Iowa Writer's Workshop in 1980. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, a magazine writer, newsletter editor, movie critic, teacher and lecturer.

Bruce Brooks has twice received the Newbery Honor, first in 1985 for Moves Make the Man, and again in 1992 for What Hearts. He is also the author of Everywhere, Midnight Hour Encores, Asylum for Nightface, Vanishing, and Throwing Smoke. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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Midnight Hour Encores 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Slow moving in the beginning, but an all around good book. Not very much into musical instruments but i learned quite a bit from this story about the cello.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to admit, when i first started reading this book (for a school project) i was bored. this is hard to word for me because i can't really explain how much i love this book now. ive totally changed my opinion about it since the beginning. its really touched me in a way only a good book can. parts of it i didnt quite get because i dont know a lot about music, but the author really made it easy to keep going. so i give Bruce Brooks a very appreciated thank-you for letting me understand a lot more about life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I have ever read. The main character is witty and original and the cast of characters is unique. I give it five stars because it will keep you thoroughly entertained the entire time, and you won't be able to believe where you find yourself at the end of the journey Bruce Brooks take you on!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the most fantastic stories read in my youth. Fully bursting with wry humor and wit, this touching tale of family and love will be a long-lasting and pleasant memory for all of its readers.