I’m about to read a book that I read many times in high school, and as an adult librarian often referenced as a great book: Midnight Hour Encores by Bruce Brooks.
Unlike my previous re-reads (P.S. I Love You and There’s a Bat in Bunk Five), this is what I considered one of the more “serious” books that I liked to read. In fact, lacking the phrase “realistic fiction” I usually just described this category as “regular books.” Here’s what I remember: a girl (who calls her father Taxi) asks to meet her mother. Because her father is such a unique individual he buys an authentic VW van and takes her on a road trip to meet her mother in San Francisco–all to help her understand that when her mother walked out on her (as a baby) it was because she was a free-spirited hippie who couldn’t be burdened with conventional motherhood. This is all news to the girl. The girl is an extremely talented cellist and makes her trip to San Francisco coincide with an audition for a prestigious music school. That’s the plot, but here are the feelings I remember: being in awe of her musical talent, thinking that her father was just so amazing, and finding it very inspiring all in all. I liked books about serious and talented teens and I thought this was one of the best books I had read. (Even then, though, I knew that the cover was total rubbish.) Let’s see if I still agree….