________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 19. . . .January 27, 2017


High Note. (Orca Limelights).

Jeff Ross.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2016.
118 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1111-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1112-6 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1113-3 (epub).

Grades 6 and up / Ages 11 and up.

Review by Janet Johnson.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



“The moral of this story is going to be that Crissy comes to understand that friendship is more important that anything else. It’s actually pretty Disney; if you think about it.” “We are not in a movie, Sean.” “I know; I know. But if we were, I’d bet any money that was the moral. Like Toy Story.” I decided it was time to drive Sean away form his weird musings. Luckily, he had a ham sandwich to deal with.

“Maybe I should offer to be the backup and forget about it,” I said. Then I sighed dramatically without meaning to.

Absolutely not, Hailey,” Sean said, his mouth stuffed with lettuce and a dangle of ham.

Why not?” It would solve everything.”

“Because this isn’t only her story. It’s yours as well.”


High Note is one of a series of books published for the “Orca Limelights” series. These novels all have different settings in the world of the performing arts. This is a realistic novel about two girls who are very close friends and what happens to them when they compete with each other. The book tells the story from the point of view of one the girls, Hailey. Both Hailey and her friend Crissy are members of a choir that is going to perform in an opera. When one of the professional opera singers becomes ill, there is a competition for a replacement from the choir, and both friends are eager to audition for the role of Barbarina in “The Marriage of Figaro”. Hailey is an ordinary girl with ordinary interests until she auditions for a solo role in the opera and discovers that, not only does she have a good voice, but she also would like to pursue a career as a singer. Crissy, on the other hand, is determined to become a professional singer. Unfortunately, there are only two parts for the audition, the singer and the understudy, and Hailey finds herself competing with her best friend for the singing part. Crissy becomes very jealous when Hailey wins the part, and her jealousy wreaks havoc with their friendship and leaves the reader wondering how the girls will resolve this situation.

     Like most YA novel, parents are almost nonexistent in High Note although Crissy’s mother plays an interesting character who isn’t very kind to Hailey. She seems to be the typical backstage mother. Hailey’s parents are in the background and play a supportive role.

     Although the novel is short in length, the story is interesting, and I enjoyed the novel especially for the suspense that the author creates though a skilful use of dialogue and character development. Any reader who is interested in any form of performing arts would find High Note entertaining, and it isn’t necessary to have a background in opera to enjoy this book.

Highly Recommended.

Janet Johnson, a retired librarian, used to teach Children’s Literature for the Library Technician Program at Red River College in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

Next Review | Table of Contents For This Issue - January 27, 2017
CM Home
| Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive