Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Composer Is Dead

Title: The Composer Is Dead
Author: Lemony Snicket
Reading Level: J
Location: J Snicket

Someone has killed the composer! The question is who did it...

Instruments such as the Harps, the Violins and the Trumpet are all personified in this cleverly funny mystery. As the detective tries to solve the murder, all the instruments are suspects with questionable motives...but plausible alibis. I knew this would be a witty, fun read coming from Snicket who crafted the dark humor A Series Of Unfortunate Events books and established himself as the Tim Burton of modern children's literature. One great line is when the narrator describes the composer as no longer composing, but "decomposing". Many classical music references are made that the adults can enjoy too. You may even learn a thing about orchestras and symphonies. Accompanied is a CD with Lemony Snicket narrating and followed by a performance by the San Fransisco Orchestra. Despite the grim subject, the story is in a picture book format suitable for young elementary school children who can appreciate a well-crafted darker comedy.

Bottom Line: Snicket once again proves that he doesn't need a 300+ page chapter book to develop a captivating storyline. I recommend this book to any fan of classic music or a silly but creative plot with a surprise ending.

1 comment:

  1. This book can definitely be read or listened to by some of the JE age. The composer is left abstract. How he/she died is never mentioned and he/she is not pictured in the book. Instead the story focuses on the instruments and the witty dialog related to each instrument. Listening to the cd is a must. I can't stress enough how much hearing the actual instruments sounds as the the story is narrated can enhance your child's experience with this book.