Nicolo Zen, a poor, orphaned boy, is left stranded on the dirty streets of Venice, Italy and only has one thing: a unique clarinet. But what makes this clarinet so special is that many years before, a famous musician put a spell on, guaranteeing that the first person ever to play it would do so expertly. So, one day while Nicolo is playing his clarinet grandly on the streets for money, a great music director overhears him and decides to place him in an orphanage orchestra. Soon enough, Nicolo substantially advances through the orphanage orchestra and is playing in the grandest concert halls throughout Europe. But Nicolo’s troubles return when he wonders if this talent really is his, or just the spell’s.Well, Nicolo will finally get his questions answered, when the actual magician himself, comes to Nicolo’s doorstep.
This book, The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen, has many great and outstanding things to it. First, the detail that is added to this book is phenomenal. Such details create a truly intricate image in your mind that you do really feel as if you are the character himself.You can feel what Nicolo feels, see what he sees, and hear what he hears. For every heart pounding moment in this suspense, you are put right there with the immense amount of detail in this book. Second, The way the author builds up the characters and their stories is excellent. He really shows them changing in a great way and how they feel about their changes. Finally, the flow and sequence of the whole story is magnificent. The chapters go very smoothly and the transitions are easy to follow.
One thing that is very memorable about this book are all the stories that build up into one huge story. You have stories that are suspenseful, funny, intense, and many more. But it’s these stories that really help describe the past of the characters and to help the reader understand what is going on.
Review by Fiona, grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library