Ukulele Hayley

(2013)
Ukulele Hayley

 

In Ukulele Hayley, shy third grader Hayley is the shortest person in her class, and seems to be the only student without a talent suitable for school's talent show.  At a yard sale, Hayley bargains for a ukulele, and gets the school's new music teacher, Mr. Y to teach her a few chords.  Hayley practices incessantly, and ends up gaining self-confidence and providing a showstopping number at the talent show.  After this great success, Hayley starts a ukulele club which gains many members and performs well.  Throughout the book, there are rumblings are budget cuts, and having not enough funding for programs. When the school's music program is cut midway through the year by the school board Hayley stages a protest with news media showing up at the school district offices.  The ending is implausible, with the school board restoring the program in an unlikely manner, but the spirit Hayley and her fellow classmates show makes up for that flaw in the story.  Recommended for 2nd graders working on chapter books up to 4th grade.

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