Ms. Finkleman is just our boring old music teacher. Or is she?
It all starts with a Special Project in Mr. Melville's Social Studies class: Solve a mystery in your own life. For seventh grader Bethesda Fielding, one mystery is too tempting to ignore: Ms. Finkleman.
Bethesda is convinced that her mousy Music Fundamentals teacher is hiding a secret life, and she’s determined to find out what it is. But no one is prepared for what she learns. Ms. Finkleman used tobe . . . a rock star? Soon the whole school goes rock crazy, and a giant concert is in the works with none other than timid Ms. Finkleman at the helm!
But the case isn’t quite closed, and the questions continue to swirl forBethesda. Could there be even more to the secret life of Ms. Finkleman than she already revealed? With the help of her rock-obsessed classmate Tenny Boyer, Bethesda won’t stop until she solves the real mystery of Ms. Finkleman once and for all!
Winters builds a fast-paced, funny, and highly original story on the premise that a drab music teacher "so totally unremarkable as to be essentially invisible" might have a secret past as a famous punk rock star. The main character, seventh-grader Bethesda Fielding, sets the plot in motion when she supposedly uncovers Ms. Finkleman's secret, but numerous other characters are fleshed out nearly as strongly. Winters moves with facility from one point of view to another, providing just enough background and detail on each to keep readers informed and engaged. When Ms. Finkleman, her former life apparently revealed, is instructed to prepare a rock-and-roll concert for a music competition, instead of the 16th-century English ballads she favors, the story takes some unusual twists, a few of which are kept from readers, adding more suspense. Winters (Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters) keeps tight control of the inventive material, ensuring that the unpredictable developments hit with a zing; his confident handling of an unusual m lange of elements will entertain readers with a wide range of tastes. Ages 8 12.