Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani
First Second / Macmillan
Publication Date: June 22, 2021
Follow this enchanting time-traveling jolt through history with Shaheen and her cousin, Tannaz, as they search for Shaheen’s missing father. One moment, Shaheen is involved in an endless discussion with dad about his timeless vinyl collection (though partly tuning him out). The next moment, she is wondering when he will be home and why he isn’t answering calls. Shaheen and Tannaz decide to pretend they are solving a Nancy Drew case as they whisk through town visiting shops such as Otis Street Records. It is here that they are confronted with the “Jukebox.” Could this be the timeless classic involved in Shaheen’s dad’s missing case? Or could this be a dead end?
The most compelling elements in this text are the importance of music and history to family. Chanani does a beautiful job using art and historical components to draw the reader deeply into the story. The historical elements are fueled by adventure, the love of music, and the critical events that paved the way for change in society. Though interpreted artistically, each musical period is displayed with reverence for its time and revolutionary influence.
Readers who enjoy this story may also enjoy Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte, Lucy in the Sky by Kiara Brinkman, Long Distance by Whitney Gardner, and Pashmina, another Nidhi Chanani title. These stories all feature an endearing peek into the lives of pre-teens waging the balance between family and finding themselves.
Other Nominated Titles
- In the Shadow of the Fallen Towers: The Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months and Years after the 9/11 Attacks by Don Brown (August 10, 2021)
- Black Star by Eric A. Glover and Arielle Jovellanos (May 11, 2021)
- Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, v.1: Fortune and Fate by Alyssa Wong and Marika Cresta (January 26, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams will feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation will be listed as well. At year’s end, the team will use that list of nominated titles to select a final list and Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are also made available on The Hub.