This was an Audible Originals pick for I think June, and I’m glad I picked it up.
George and Jules are 11-year-old twins, and they love music. George plays the guitar and Jules plays the drums, and they’re pretty good musicians. They’re also pretty good kids, as evidenced by their interactions with their absent-minded mom. Their love of music comes from their Uncle Bob, who is a top-notch ethnomusicologist. But Uncle Bob has disappeared. Not just, left for work one day and was never heard from again, no, he literally disappeared, and on tape no less! He was on a tv show (“Pawn Wars”) and while he was investigating a music box he picked up in a sale, he vanished!
The twins acquire a second music box, left for them by their uncle, and they quickly discover that it allows them to travel through time and space! They find themselves in different times and places of musical importance, such as a Second Line parade in New Orleans in 1915. (I was a music major, and I had no idea what a second line parade was. So I learned something!) They also end up seeing a Medicine Show in 1930-something, another thing I was not completely aware of either! I knew that people would try to sell “miracle cures,” but I didn’t know they had entertainment along to help in the selling! The kids jump back in time and meet a young Mozart, which is kind of nice. (I knew that one!) And they end up at a music festival in the 1970’s as well (for the plot, you see.)
This is a good story to listen to as a family, both because of the engaging story and the information it sneaks in. There are some startling moments, so it’s not all fluff, and there are some lessons that are not strictly about music. The sound effects and music they include in the production really make this a listening experience. I would recommend this for a family listen on a road trip, especially for kids in the elementary school age-range.
This fulfills the CBR 11 Bingo category of “Summer Read”