Title: Music Man
Age Category: YA
Word count: 88,000
Jason Petterson, from Freedom Texas, is an amazing musician. He plays violin, clarinet, piano, guitar, and banjo equally well, and he’s totally unprepared for the regional music magnet school in Newberryport, Connecticut.
First there’s manic Sarah Elliot, an extroverted gymnast who’s tiny and tough as a tank. She rescues Jason on the first day of school. But her head is filled with demons and she’s not as strong as she seems. Losing her fight to hang on to her idyllic childhood, she enlists Jason, as the big brother she never had, to help.
Then there’s gifted Elizabeth Franklin, the school’s most talented singer and Sarah’s former student mentor. Unbeknownst to Jason, or anyone, she’s desperately struggling with her deteriorating home situation. When Elizabeth uses Jason to escape an unwanted boyfriend he convinces her to audition for Sing Out, a nationally televised vocal competition.
The trio’s unlikely friendship grows and the passion ratchets up as they prepare for the show, and unwittingly fall in love. Just as their moment of triumph appears within reach domestic violence, mental illness, and misunderstanding crash the story, marring their preparations, testing their courage, and hopelessly complicating their relationships.