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Music Boxes

4.76  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  46 reviews
“I only desire your talent...”

Twelve-year-old Lindsey McKay's biggest dream is to be a famous ballerina. But after moving to New York, she ends up at the Community Center with a teacher who’s a burly bear in tights.
When she meets Madame Destinée, the teacher of a top dance school who offers her classes for free, Lindsey can't believe her luck. In exchange, she must perform
Published March 5th 2019 by Dancing Lemur Press LLC
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Average rating 4.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  59 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
Magic spells, haunted halls, disappearing dancers and a fluffy dog...

The hauntingly enchanted magic of Music Boxes is sure to deliver chills and thrills in the reader's heart. Barnes & Noble @bnkidsblog recently suggested this book as "5 Spooky New Middle-Grade Books for Campfire Chills" in their 'Summer Reading' post with just the right level of scary for kids ages 8-12, and I couldn't agree more.

Lindsay and her parents are moving to New York City to live in a cramped apartment because her sis
Christine Rains
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lindsey McKay had to leave her friends, her home, and her dreams in Nebraska when her family moved to New York so that her little sister could go to Julliard. Her parents work a lot, and Lindsey is left on her own to stew in her jealousy. Stopping to pet an adorable dog on the street, she meets Madame Destinée, an infamous ballet teacher. She sniffs out great talent, and Madame believes Lindsey has it. Taking classes with Madame is a dream, but things just aren't right at the exclusive school. W ...more
C. McKenzie
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lindsay’s parents move the family to New York so Lindsay’s talented sister can attend Juilliard. This move has wrecked Lindsay’s chance at a top-notch ballet school because her parents can’t afford it. They are already struggling to pay for Juilliard and to meet their living expenses in the big city. She signs up for the community center ballet school, but it’s just not the caliber of school she’s used to or needs to develop her own talent.

Then she meets Madame Destinée has a chance to learn fro
Sherry Ellis
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Twelve-year-old Lindsey and her family have moved from a small town in Nebraska to New York City so that her eight-year-old sister could study violin at Julliard, a prestigious music school. Lindsey wants to be a famous ballerina and is jealous that her sister gets to go to a great school while she has to take her lessons at a dumpy community center. Then she meets Madame Destinee, a supposedly famous dance teacher who offers to teach Lindsey for free and make her an amazing dancer like all the ...more
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
Tonja Drecker has spun an ingenious, spine-chilling tale for younger readers in Music Boxes. The story begins innocuously enough when the McKay family move to New York, all for the sake of encouraging the musical talent of their eight-year-old daughter, Bridget. It is Bridget's older sister, Lindsey, whose actions drives the story. Fearful that her sister's good fortune will derail her own dreams of becoming a ballet star, Lindsey starts secretly attending a ballet school a block away from their ...more
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018, mg
Lindsay McKay and her family moved to Manhattan from a very small town in Nebraska. She dreams of being a prima ballerina, while her younger sister, Bridget, has been accepted into Juilliard, at the age of eight, to play the violin. Lindsay is happy for her sister, but not thrilled about living in a new place. Luckily, she brought her prized possession, a special music box given to her by her grandmother. At least it givers her some comfort. Lindsay’s first ballet lesson at the local community c ...more
Beverly McClure
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Music boxes are lovely. One can picture a ballerina twirling and spinning on her toes to a beautiful tune. It’s enchanting. Many girls aspire to being ballerinas, even though it’s a lot of work and no guarantee they’ll succeed. In Author Tonja Drecker’s new novel MUSIC BOXES, Lindsey McKay’s dream is to be a star like the ballerina in her music box. Things look promising for a while. Lindsey and her family move from Nebraska to Manhattan to give her the opportunity. Madame Destinee says she is t ...more
Laurisa Reyes
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Music Boxes is a terrific thriller for young fans of Goosebumps and other books that go bump in the night.

Lindsey and her family move to New York so her younger sister can pursue her dreams of being a violinist. But Lindsey has dreams of her own. She wants to be a ballet dancer. So when Madame Destinee invites her join her studio and perform nightly in front of an audience, she jumps at the chance. At first, Lindsey loves the applause and the glamour of the stage, but soon she begins to see thro
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Music Boxes is an absolutely enchanting book. It took me right back to my own childhood ballet classes, although, fortunately, mine were a lot less spooky. I was completely drawn into the main character's struggles - her yearning to be a world-class ballerina no matter what the cost, being torn between her love for her sister and jealousy of her musical talent, and having to adapt to new surroundings after being uprooted from her childhood home. When Madame Destinee arrives on the scene, Lindsey ...more
Krystal Jane
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
This is a fun middle grade mystery with magic and fantasy and a hint of Hansel & Gretel and Coraline. I really cared about the characters and worried about what was going to happen to them! Plus the book had me wanting to take dance classes again, and I found myself twirling around the house on more than one occasion. I really liked the friendship between the dancers and the sisterly bond Lindsay had with her little sister Bridget. I even liked Adela! She wasn't the nicest person, but she was ve ...more
Cathrina Constantine
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author, Tonja Drecker has created a unique story filled with enchantment.

Lindsay and her family moved from Nebraska to New York City to fulfill her sister's dream of becoming a violinist with Juilliard. However, I felt sorry for them since money was extra tight, and, Lindsay had to put her dreams of becoming a ballerina on hold. When Lindsay bumps into Madame Destinée the world turned topsy-turvy. Strange things started happening, but Lindsay was enthralled with the dance studio. When Madam
Juneta Key
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved the story. Imaginative and creative. It was such a fun read. I loved the mystery of it. It kept me turning pages with just enough thrill to pull me totally into the world. The ups and downs of friendship, magic, and an unexpected twist. The story was touching and spooky at the same time, so well written. Highly recommend.

I volunteered to read an ARC and this is my honest opinion.
H.M. Gooden
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Be careful what you wish for!

An interesting story about a talented young dancer who dreams of being a star. The only problem is the more she sees and experiences, the more she begins to feel it’s all a horrible nightmare. A quick and enjoyable read
June Jacobs
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
By way of introduction, I do not usually read middle-grade fantasy basically because I read a lot of historical fiction, non-fiction, and contemporary fiction.

****I am so glad I decided to give 'Music Boxes' a try!****

The author has provided an intricate story with well-developed settings, characters, and plot. I appreciated the higher-level vocabulary the author used in her writing because it shows her respect for her audience. It also challenges the audience to stretch, think, and comprehend
Madeleine Holly-Rosing
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
Twelve year-old Lindsey and her family move from Nebraska to New York City not because Lindsey loves ballet and wants to be a ballerina, but because her younger sister, Bridget, is a musical prodigy on the violin and has been accepted at Julliard. Though she loves her sister, Lindsey is a bit annoyed and resentful that her sister's dreams come before anyone else's. She thinks her luck may have changed though when she runs into Madame Broussard, who is a ballet instructor. Swept up in Madame Bros ...more
Paula Berinstein
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Music boxes is exactly my kind of book. I absolutely love stories in which anything can happen, no matter how improbable or fantastic, and I mean the latter as in “fantasy.” I’m not sure if the story is magical realism, fantasy, or just plain whimsy, but it completely captivated me. It feels a little like Mary Poppins, a little like Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, and a little Dr. Who. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone who loves stories that are larger than life and a little bi ...more
Cheryl Koevoet
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the best children’s book I’ve read in ages. The author is an extremely talented writer, and her turn of phrase drew me into her multi-sensory world almost from the very first page. The protagonist, Lindsey, is a believeable character, and yet very human and vulnerable. The complexity of Madame Destinee, the story’s antagonist, was built upon many different layers, requiring time to uncover her true evil nature. The character Robert lended a nice male balance to the mix as did Lindsey’s s ...more
Melody Bremen
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Music Boxes is like a modern day fairy tale. But not a sweet, sugar coated fairy tale. This story brings you into a world that is equal parts sinister and enchanting, with the perfect amount of darkness for the middle grade audience. The tension starts immediately and doesn’t let up until the end. I enjoyed watching how Lindsey was sucked into the mystery (even thought I kept yelling at her in my head, “No, don’t do that!”) and her plucky resolve at the end of the story.
Music Boxes follows twelv
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-books, 4-stars
This review is also posted on my blog Kitty Cat at the Library along with a interview with the author!

This book was so cute! I absolutely adored it. It follows a girl named Lindsey who moves from a quaint town in Nebraska to New York City because her eight year old sister is going to Juiliard since she is a violin prodigy. She is an aspiring profesional ballerina and when a mysterious–and fancy–dance school offers to teach her, she leaps at the chance to take lessons! The only twist is that she
Cat Michaels
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Author Tonja Drecker injects suspense from the start in her middle-grade mystery as 12-yo Lyndsey meets ballet instructor Madame Destinee after Lyndsey’s family relocates to NYC to advance younger sister’s musical career at Julliard. The teacher promises to deliver Lyndsey’s dream of being a successful dance career, but only if Lyndsey attends midnight lessons at Madame’s ballet school.

Hmmmmm. Something strange there, but Lyndsey is determined to become a dancer and do whatever it takes. She is
S.A. Larsen
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A twisted tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last spin of the music box!

The writing flows with ease and the gentle yet enthusiastic voice of Lindsay. She’s the older sister in the family, and if you’re the oldest child you know what that takes – a strong inner core, willingness to endure more responsibility, and the grace to lead. But Lindsay’s younger sibling, Bridget, doesn’t need any of that from her. Bridget is a child prodigy, a talented violinist at the age of eight
Ilana Waters
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Before you do anything else, pick up a copy of Tonja Drecker’s MUSIC BOXES. It’s perfect for the middle-grader in love with dance, especially one who’s feeling “out of step” with herself and her place in the world. After moving to a new city with her family, Lindsey struggles to come to grips with sibling rivalry, her own ambition, and a magical dance school whose instructor isn’t all that she seems. Captivating magic abounds, but is it the answer to all of Lindsey’s problems, or her worst night ...more
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
MUSIC BOXES is a stunning paranormal YA mystery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this enchanting journey into the competitive world of the arts in New York City, particularly ballet. Ms. Drecker takes us by the hand, introducing wide-eyed newcomers to the harshness, temptations, and dangers of a big city, yet also demonstrates that with love, everyone has a place and a purpose.

Twelve-year-old Lindsey had to leave her wide-open blue skies of Nebraska because her eight-year-old sister is a violin-playing prod
Tonja Drecker
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I can only wish that the mysterious dance school with all of its beauty and wonders could perch on the streets of New York and invite readers in for a magical adventure of their own.
For what is life without dreams, adventure and a pinch of the impossible?
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(This review will be on my blog All the Ups and Downs soon.)
Music Boxes by Tonja Drecker seemed like the perfect chilling read for right around Halloween. A creepy middle grade mystery? Sign me up! Music Boxes lived up to my expectations for sure!

Twelve year old Lindsey has just moved from Nebraska to New York City in order for her younger sister to attend Julliard. In Nebraska, she was part of a fantastic ballet school. In New York, she only gets to dance at the drab community center. When a
Susan Rooke
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly imaginative and more than a little creepy, Tonja Drecker’s Music Boxes is a novel to get lost in. It tells the story of twelve-year-old Lindsey, who is uprooted from her comfortable life in Nebraska when her eight-year-old sister Bridget, a violinist of enormous talent, snags a coveted spot at Juilliard. As the story opens, the girls’ parents have moved the family to New York for Bridget’s schooling. Lindsey, though she loves her parents and sister dearly, can’t help resenting that her dr ...more
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
While this book may seem harmless, it actually will bend the mind of anyone that reads this book with the fantasy aspects, the mystery of the dance studio, and normal sibling rivalry.

Lindsey has given up a lot to follow her family to New York so her younger sister can attend Julliard.  Everyone has given up something since living in New York is not cheap, so fancy dance schools are not in the cards for Lindsey and she has to continue her ballet at the community center.  This would be a hard adju
Cynthia Austin
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What a great children’s mystery!

I read this book with my eight year old son who was pulled into the story instantly. Though the plot focused around a ballerina dance studio, there was enough of a haunting undertone to keep my son’s interest and not complain about the story being too ‘girly.’

When Lindsay’s family leaves everything behind and moves to New York in hopes of their prodegal daughter who has gotten a music scholarship to Juliard, Lindsay begins to feel left out. Her dreams of bec
Steve Lindahl
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Music Boxes is a well-written YA novel with a wonderful twelve-year-old protagonist. The book deals with the relationship between two sisters. Lindsey, the twelve-year-old, has every reason to be jealous of her eight-year-old sister, Bridget. Lindsey loves to dance and is quite good at it, but Bridget is a prodigy on the violin. Their family has moved from Nebraska to New York City to allow Bridget to attend the elementary school associated with Julliard. Meanwhile Lindsey is left to attend danc ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Music Boxes," written by Tonja Drecker will leave middle grade readers captivated.
When twelve year old Lindsey moves to New York with her family from Nebraska, she is not at all happy. Her parents made the move to enroll Lindsey's eight year old sister, Bridget, in an elite music school. More than anything though, Lindsey wants to go to the best ballet school New York has to offer. Instead, they enroll her in a dumpy community school which leaves her with disappointments.
While walking around th
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After finishing her BA in International Studies at the University of Denver, Tonja Drecker spent many years in Europe devouring chocolate, cheese and wine while investigating the birth places of myths, legends and mysterious tales.
Currently she runs a small farm somewhere in the Ozarks and tries to keep up with her prize winning review blog, Bookworm for Kids.

Her debut novel MUSIC BOXES (Dancing

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