How does it feel to be an adoptee? Let Star-Wars-loving adoptee Jazzy Armstrong share her quest for identity and belonging with your child! Enjoy this sneak peak at an excerpt from the critically acclaimed children’s chapter book, Jazzy’s Quest: Adopted and Amazing!
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Chapter Two: Trouble With Music
After school, Jasmine dropped her backpack in the entryway. She could hear the cheerful sounds of guitar and piano from the den. She poked her head into the room.
“We’re practicing for the talent show!” her sister May shouted. “Do you want to join The Amazing Armstrongs?”
“I’ll think about it.” Jasmine bent down to pet her dog. “Right now, I am so hungry I could eat one of Sing’s dog biscuits.” Sing’s name had been a compromise when Jasmine and her sisters got the dog two years ago. Jasmine wanted to name the dog after one of her favorite Star Wars characters while her sisters wanted something musical.
“What about Aurra Sing?” Jasmine had suggested. Aurra Sing was a fierce bounty hunter in the Star Wars series. She had an awesome collection of lightsabers that she took from every Jedi that she’d battled. Jasmine admired her ability to carry out the most dangerous tasks, even though she chose to work for bad guys.
“Cool name!” May and Sophie had said in unison. “Let’s call her Sing for short.”
Sing yelped and Jasmine smiled. Unlike the Star Wars character Aurra Sing, Sing the dog was sweet natured and wouldn’t kill a flea, much less a Jedi. Jasmine went into the kitchen to assemble a plate of cheese and crackers. Sing whined at Jasmine’s feet, begging for bits of cheese.
In the kitchen, Mom was searching for an afternoon snack too. “How was your day, sweetie?” She gave Jasmine a quick squeeze as she pulled a jar of pickles from the fridge.
“Can I take guitar lessons?” Jasmine asked.
“Of course you can.” Mom struggled to open the pickle jar. She handed the jar to Jasmine, who hit the side of it with her hand. The tin top made a popping sound as it released some air. Then Jasmine spun the top off with ease.
“Thanks!” Mom said. “Um,” she paused. “Jazzy, do you think you would like guitar? You hated the flute.”
“I don’t know,” Jasmine said. “I need to figure out what to do for the talent show.”
“You could just sing with us.” Mom crunched on a pickle.
“Well, guitar is a good idea,” Mom said. “It was the first instrument I learned to play and I loved it. You can borrow mine until we know for sure whether or not you like it.”
On Friday, Jasmine had her first guitar lesson. The strings of the guitar made angry, twanging noises when she tried to play Mary Had A Little Lamb. The teacher said, “You’ll need to rehearse finger placement and chords at home. Don’t worry, no one is a great guitar player at first.” For a full week, Jasmine practiced guitar until her fingers grew small blisters. Setting the guitar down, Jasmine glared at it. It’s going to be impossible to learn this in three weeks, she worried. Jasmine dragged the guitar pick across her music book.
After dinner, Jasmine snuggled next to her dad on the couch as they settled in to watch the newest episode of Star Wars Rebels. A giant bowl of popcorn filled the room with the comforting smell of melted butter.
“Dad?” Jasmine asked.
He plunged his hand into the popcorn bowl. “Yeah?”
“Was it easy for you to learn to play guitar?”
Dad paused the show. “I wouldn’t say it was easy, no. Still, I loved it so much that I wanted to play it every day. It was the first thing I did when I got home from school and the only thing I wanted to do on the weekends. I never played baseball or loved football like my brothers. For me, it was always music.”
“Oh,” Jasmine sighed. “I don’t feel that way about guitar.”
Jasmine’s dad wrapped his long arm across her shoulders. “Your thing doesn’t have to be guitar, kiddo.”
Jasmine looked at the Star Wars characters frozen in action on her TV screen. She picked up the remote control and pushed play. She’d think about the talent show tomorrow.
Are you looking for an awesome children’s adoption book? Check out our new release Jazzy’s Quest: Adopted and Amazing! Jazzy’s Quest, a new series of fictional chapter books, is written by authors Juliet Bond, LCSW, and Carrie Goldman, with help from tween adoptee Katie Goldman.
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