I’m so excited to be a part of the book tour for Duet that is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I was really excited to also be able to interview the author for this book!
Welcome Elise! Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Can you start off by introducing yourself?
Hi, I’m Elise Broach and I’ve been writing books for children and teens for nearly twenty years now. I’m so happy to talk to you about my new mystery!
How would you describe Duet in one sentence?
Duet is the story of a friendship between a bird and a boy, who combine forces to solve the mystery of a long-lost piano that might once have belonged to the great composer Chopin.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of Duet?
Mirabelle is the main character and narrator of Duet; she is an enthusiastic young goldfinch who loves singing and dreams of becoming a star. Michael Jin is the 11-year-old, piano-playing boy she befriends, who is getting ready for the performance of his life.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
There are a lot of people keeping secrets in Duet, and one of my favorite lines in the book occurs when Mirabelle struggles with the moral dilemma of keeping something from her family. She thinks, “What’s the difference between a secret and a lie? A secret probably feels like a lie to someone who loves you.”
What’s something you hope readers will take away from Duet?
Oh, so many things! That the joy of creating music or art is better than any external reward. That you must be willing to sacrifice for the things and people you love. That both history and nature are full of wonders that endlessly enrich our ordinary lives.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed Duet?
Let’s see: E. B. White’s Trumpet of the Swan if you like the bird part of the story; Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer if you like the mystery part; and Sara Pennypacker’s Pax if you like stories about human-animal friendships.
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
Yes! I’m working on a new novel based on an actual historical mystery—my favorite kind—involving a book from Renaissance Italy that’s written in a language nobody has ever been able to decode. My current title is The Book That Could Never Be Read.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A musically gifted bird, a piano-playing boy, and a real-life mystery involving three artistic geniuses
Welcome to the world of Mirabelle, a young goldfinch who loves to sing and dreams of becoming a musical star. She lives with her family in the backyard of a piano teacher, and she is quickly intrigued by Mr. Starek’s newest pupil. Michael Jin is an eleven-year-old keyboard sensation, but lesson after lesson, he refuses to play. With the prestigious Chopin Festival looming at summer’s end, how will he be ready in time? Mirabelle is responsible for Michael’s breakthrough—to her own astonishment, she sings the Chopin piece he is beginning to play at the piano. It is their first duet.
Thus begins a secret adventure that will take Mirabelle and Michael further than they ever imagined—in music, in friendship, and in solving the mystery of a lost piano that could be worth millions. A house full of treasures holds the clues. There, Mirabelle, Michael, and their friend Emily will make an important discovery that links the great composer Frederic Chopin, the trailblazing author George Sand, and the French Romantic painter Eugene Delacroix.
A fast-paced, history-rich mystery will have young readers hooked as they root for boy and bird in this beautifully told novel, full of emotion and suspense.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elise Broach is the author of more than twenty books for young readers, including board books, picture books, early readers, middle-grade mysteries, and young adult novels. Her picture book, My Pet Wants a Pet, was named Parents Magazine’s Best Picture Book of 2018. Another picture book, When Dinosaurs Came with Everything, won the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award and was Time Magazine’s #1 Children’s Book of the Year. Her middle-grade novel, Masterpiece, was a New York Times bestseller and also won the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award. Elise’s books have appeared on more than a dozen state reading lists. She lives in Connecticut and teaches creative writing at Yale University.