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Little Nic comes alive when he plays a solo on his double bass in after-school orchestra practice. The music fills him with peace and delight, and his friendly, supportive peers congratulate him on his performance.

But when he leaves school, toting the huge double bass on his small frame, and walks through a rough neighborhood on his way home, he encounters hostility. People stare at him, make sarcastic remarks about his instrument, and push him aside. Little Nic’s serenity dissipates.

Still, as Little Nic then rides a bus, he hears music in the plunk, plunk, plunk of the raindrops on the roof, and the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of the bus’s wipers. When he arrives at his apartment building, he groans when he realizes the elevator is out of order. Undaunted, he takes the stairs, his double bass weighing him down, and arrives at his apartment to discover a surprise.

Illustrator Rudy Gutierrez’s action-packed, bold artwork and author Andrea Loney’s sparse, energetic text convey the passion that music—one of God’s many marvelous gifts—stirs in the hearts of people, and the ways it draws musicians and their audiences into a shared celebratory experience. (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

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