A Little Wanting Song
2010; Knopf; ISBN 978-0-375-86096-6 (hardcover)
Summary: Every summer, Charlie visits the country town where her grandparents live. She's shy--so shy that she can't bring herself to sing in front of anyone. But at least she has her music to comfort her as she deals with the the loss of her mother, seven years ago, and her grandmother's death last year. Rose lives next door to Charlie's grandfather and is the kind of girl Charlie wishes she could be: feisty, popular, and not afraid of anything. Rose has her own worries, though, like how to get out of this nowhere town even though it'd mean leaving her boyfriend behind. A science scholarship to a city school could be her ticket, but first she has to convince her parents to let her go. Maybe by being friendly with city-dweller Charlie, Rose will find an opportunity. A summer friendship will change both Rose and Charlie's lives.
This layered novel draws inspiration from the music Charlie loves, with various notes and themes combining to create a unique composition. An Australian import, this friendship tale is enriched by the character voices: Charlie is lyrical and metaphorical, while Rose is direct and no-nonsense. As the two girls become friends and begin to change, their voices change as well. Subplots about Charlie and her family's losses, Rose's relationship with her boyfriend, and Charlie falling for Rose's friend Dave add to the story's depth. Hand A Little Wanting Song to fans of introspective novels like This Lullaby.