From the Publisher
AWARDS and RECOGNITIONS
Booklist, Top Ten Religion Books for Youth (2009)
Children's Crown Award Reading Programs, Children's Crown Award, Nominee
Kentucky Reading Association, Kentucky Bluegrass Award Master List
"The novel is heartwarming and funny, but has a serious side about phobias, love, friendship and family. I found this book to be perfect for any age. . . I enjoyed C.C. Payne's first novel and will be glad to put it on our shelf, and anxiously await her next book. Something to Sing About is just that, something to sing about."
School Library Journal
"Payne gives the story enough realistic family and friend imperfections to keep readers interested and the plot from taking on a syrupy-sweet edge. . . This uplifting story contains much to appeal to a broad audience."
Booklist, Starred Review
"Payne, a first-time novelist, offers a book that, like The Penderwicks (2006), harkens back to such perennial favorites as the Moffats series and the works of Elizabeth Enright. . . And unlike many books for middle-graders, the adults here are fully fleshed-out characters, whose foibles are seen clearly through a child's eyes. The word wholesome sometimes gets a bad rap, but here it's leavened by gentle humor and considerable insight, and it fits this book just fine."
Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
Ten year old Jamie Jo is deathly afraid of bees. She will not venture outside alone or without a fly swatter. In fact, her mother is now known as the Bee Slayer. Jamie Jo even refuses to play with classmates during recess. Instead, she sits safely with the teacher on the sidelines. However, a combination of events over the summer helps her to come to terms with her insecurities. Her mother is "fired" from the church choir, a new girl moves in across the street, and Jamie Jo acquires a puppy. She also learns that other people are insecure at times. The hateful lady next door turns out to be a nice lady who is just lonely, and Jamie Jo realizes that her new friend Rafi also has fears and insecurities. Jamie Jo is surprised as she thought she was the only one with insecurities. An accidental explosion at the church makes everyone reexamine the petty differences that keep them apart. The new school year begins with a happier, more secure and more mature Jamie Jo. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson
School Library Journal
Ten-year-old Jamie Jo Morgan is deathly afraid of bees since she watched a movie in which the young main character dies of a bee sting. She spends most of summer vacation inside unless her mother is with her carrying a flyswatter. She longs for a friend, a wish that comes true when a girl her age moves into her neighborhood. A series of events, beginning with her mother's exclusion from the church choir because she can't sing, cause Jamie Jo to question her faith in God and face her fears. Jamie's struggles and questions are met with wisdom, humor, and a positive attitude especially through the character of Mrs. Morgan. Payne gives the story enough realistic family and friend imperfections to keep readers interested and the plot from taking on a syrupy-sweet edge. Christian ideals are shown in behaviors rather than preached. This uplifting story contains much to appeal to a broad audience.-D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH
Ten-year-old Jamie Jo never leaves home without her mama and her flyswatter. After watching a fictional movie character die from an allergic reaction, this daughter of a prosecutor and tone-deaf choir member fears bees, although she's not allergic herself. Her life in rural Kentucky revolves around church, but she questions her faith when her mother is bullied out of the choir. However, it is restored when a damaging explosion before choir practice harms no one, as her absent mother had been its only punctual member. (In an author's note, Payne explains that the strictly timed explosion was inspired by true events.) Jamie Jo demonstrates gradual growth in her small adventures with a new friend and her dog. Secondary characters are realistically flawed and memorable. While the quirky moments excel, Jamie Jo's naivete is unrealistic, even considering her sheltered upbringing. Conflicts are too neatly resolved, the voice meanders and didactic dialogue stunts this debut novel. (Fiction. 8-12)