Authors: Beverly Lewis
Tags: #Nicknames—Fiction, #Behavior—Fiction, #Korean Americans—Fiction, #Christian life—Fiction, #Cul-de-sac kids
Â© 1997 byÂ Beverly Lewis
Published by Bethany House Publishers
11400 Hampshire Avenue South
Bloomington, Minnesota 55438
Bethany House Publishers is a division of
Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Ebook edition created 2012
Ebook corrections 5.18.2012
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any meansâfor example, electronic, photocopy, recordingâwithout the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Cover illustration by Paul Turnbaugh
Story illustrations by Janet Huntington
who eagerly awaits
the new books
in this series.
Shawn Hunter tuned his violin.
“Ready to practice?” his American sister asked.
“Almost.” Shawn tucked the violin under his chin. He smiled at Abby. “Now ready.”
Abby held the music. “High enough?”
“Very good,” Shawn said. It came out like
Shawn was still learning to speak English. His first language was Korean. Abby's parents had adopted him.
It was hard getting used to a new country. And a new school. But music lessons weren't new. Shawn, whose Korean name was Li Sung Jin, loved music. Mostly violin music.
“I start now,” Shawn said.
He drew the bow across the strings. A soaring melody filled the living room.
Abby tapped her toe to the music.
Suddenly, Shawn stopped playing.
“What's wrong?” asked Abby.
“Something missing,” Shawn said.
He set his violin and bow on the sofa. He hurried down the hall to his bedroom.
Soon, he returned with his soccer ball.
for?” Abby asked.
“Ball help balance me,” Shawn said.
He picked up his violin and bow. He set his right foot on top of the soccer ball. “That better.”
Shawn began to play again.
He practiced major scales. Next he reviewed
two old songs. He worked on two new ones.
Over and over he practiced. Shawn loved playing his violin. As much as he loved playing soccer.
Shawn liked to dribble and punt. Sometimes he practiced in his big backyard. Mostly when no one was watching.
Practicing in secret wasn't easy. But Shawn was determined to play with the Blossom Hill Blitzers. The team was named for Shawn's school. He wasn't sure what Blitzers meant. But it sounded good. Fast too.
When Shawn finished practicing his violin, Abby clapped. “You sound double dabble good!” she said.
“Thank you.” Shawn gave a stiff bow.
Abby looked at their dog, Snow White.
“What's the matter with you?” she asked the floppy-eared pet.
Shawn laughed his high-pitched laugh. “Snow White not like violin music.”
“Bad dog,” Abby scolded. She went over and tickled her paws. She was lying on her back. All four legs were sticking up. “Shawn makes nice music,” she told Snow White. “You don't have to play dead.”
Shawn was still laughing. “Snow White need music lesson. She not understand.”
“You're right,” Abby said. She put the music away.
Shawn stopped laughing. Now he spoke softly. “Some
not understand, too.”
“What?” Abby asked.
“Is not important,” Shawn muttered into his violin case.
Abby insisted. “What did you say?”
Shawn was silent.
He put his violin away.
The lid clicked shut.
Abby sat on the floor and touched Shawn's arm. “Something's bugging you,” she said. “You can't fool me.”
Shawn sat beside her. “Abby good sister and
“Friends talk to each other,” Abby said.
Shawn sighed. His dark, almondshaped eyes grew serious. He pushed his hand through his black hair.
“I not fit in. America hard place for Korean kid. With violin,” he added quickly.
“It takes time getting used to a new culture. But don't give up,” Abby pleaded. She looked at him. “Are kids at school making fun of you?”
Shawn nodded sadly. “They have nickname for me.”
Abby frowned. “What are they calling you?”
Shawn's eyes popped open. “Abby mad?”
“Yes, I'm mad!” She stood up. “What's the nickname?”
“They say make-fun name,” he said. “They say, âfiddlesticks.' Because I skinny and . . . and small. And play violin. Boys not play violin in America?”
“Of course they do,” Abby said. She puffed air through her lips. “Who's calling you fiddlesticks?”
“Kids who not like me,” Shawn said.
Abby nodded. “I figured that, but who?”
“I not say.” Shawn got up and walked toward the kitchen.
“Hey, come back!” Abby called.
But Shawn didn't answer. He couldn't.
There was a big lump in his throat.
The next day was Friday, March first.
Miss Hershey made an announcement to the class. “Today is the beginning of Music in Our Schools Month.”
Shawn grinned. ââVery good,” he whispered.
Abby smiled at him across the row.
Music month great idea.
Miss Hershey talked about composers. Famous ones. “The Three B's,” she called them. Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.