Jennifer's dream is to become a famous singer—except she's terrified of singing in public. Since her best friend moved away, Jenn has become the target of the bullies at school. But when
Jennifer's dream is to become a famous singer—except she's terrified of singing in public. Since her best friend moved away, Jenn has become the target of the bullies at school. But when a Native girl, Melody, joins the class, the bullies have a new victim. Jenn's heard what people, including her own grandmother, say about "those people." But, as she gets to know her new classmate, she discovers that, like her, Melody enjoys books and reading. She also finds that both of them love music.
Set in Springhill, Nova Scotia during the late 1960s, this story of peer cruelty, faith, mortality, racism, and friendship perfectly captures time and place as its young narrator, Jennifer, struggles to find her voice and ultimately discovers the power of harmony.
Reviews:The Power of Harmony is worth a read for someone who is looking for realistic fiction, an historical setting, or character development centered around issues like bullying and racism. . . Ideal for classroom use or book clubs, is a book most likely appreciated by avid readers more so than the average Grade 5 reader.
— CM Magazine
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Jan L Coates started writing for young readers in 2000. She went to Acadia University and now works as a teacher as well as giving school writing workshops through the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia. She is the author of several books for young readers including Rainbows in the Dark and the critically acclaimed A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk.
She lives with her family in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
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"Simply stated, The Power Of Harmony
is deftly written and thoroughly entertaining from first page to last."
— The Midwest Book Rreview
"A powerful story about unjustified prejudice and disliking someone just because they are different."
— Kids BookShelf
"The harmony of Melody and Jenny is a powerful force, helping the two girls face extraordinary life challenges of death, shame, prejudice, grief, fear, and abuse. Together they support each other as no one else could, providing the strength needed to overcome those challenges. For two young girls, they endure much trauma, both within their families and more publicly. But Jan L. Coates does not depict Melody and Jenny as anything but ordinary children, albeit more aware of how people treat each other. They are emotive without being emotional; kind without gushiness; and clever without being smart-alecky. It's Jan L. Coates evocative text and careful plotting that elevate the girls to extraordinary while the history of Springhill, Nova Scotia, including the coal mining, the residential school and the prison, ground the story in reality. The Power of Harmony could have been a cacophony of anger, abuse and prejudice but, with Jan L. Coates' considerate story-telling, it is a sensitive coming of age story in a socially-evolving Canadian setting.
— CanLit for LittleCanadians
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On CCBC's Best Books for Kids and Teens list 2013
On Ontario Library Association Best Bets List 2013