Book Review: The Sweetest Sound


After her mother left town, Cadence hid the special talent that was so like her mother's: a beautiful singing voice. For her tenth birthday, she promises God that she would use her talent, but on the eve of her eleventh birthday, she still doesn't have the courage to do it. But when a recording of her singing goes viral, she is faced with consequences she never imagined. 


Author Sherri Winston does more than just tell us the story of a shy girl who longs to sing. She weaves rhythm and sounds into the novel. Cadence not only hears music in songs, she hears music wherever she goes. Cups ping in A and the dishwasher swooshes in D and E. Even her father is musical, spending his time repairing damaged and broken instruments. The entire novel is musical and lyrical. 


Writers do more than tell stories. They bring those stories to life. For a short time, readers are immersed in the character. The story becomes their story - if even for a moment. To accomplish this, writers often weave in many layers of meaning throughout the story. Cadence's story is one layer. Even her name is musical. The sounds she hears in life is another layer. Authors often go further and choose words that sounds like what is happening in the story. In this case, lyrical. This adds a rich new layer. Sometimes, authors use setting or action to reflect what the character is feeling. The greater the layers, if done properly, the deeper the story. 


Consider a character or a story you are working on (or have read recently). Choose an aspect of the character or setting or plot that is critical to the story as a whole. What can you do add additional layers and pull the reader into the story? 


Check out The Sweetest Sound in the children's department of your local library.




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CAROLYN BENNET FRAISER is a published writer and creative writing instructor in Brevard, North Carolina, where she enjoys helping youth find their passion for writing. 

Carolyn is available to speak to children and youth about creative writing at your school or special event. 

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@ 2019 CAROLYN BENNETT FRAISER. All Rights Reserved.