Summary and book reviews of A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley

A Little Wanting Song

by Cath Crowley

A Little Wanting Song
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2010, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2011, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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About this Book

Book Summary

Told in alternating voices and filled with music, friendship, and romance, A Little Wanting Song is about the kind of longing that begins as a heavy ache but ultimately makes us feel hopeful and wonderfully alive.

Charlie Duskin loves music, and she knows she's good at it. But she only sings when she's alone, on the moonlit porch or in the back room at Old Gus's Secondhand Record and CD Store. Charlie's mom and grandmother have both died, and this summer she's visiting her grandpa in the country, surrounded by ghosts and grieving family, and serving burgers to the local kids at the milk bar. She's got her iPod, her guitar, and all her recording equipment, but she wants more: A friend. A dad who notices her. The chance to show Dave Robbie that she's not entirely unspectacular.

Rose Butler lives next door to Charlie's grandfather and spends her days watching cars pass on the freeway and hanging out with her troublemaker boyfriend. She loves Luke but can't wait to leave their small country town. And she's figured out a way: she's won a scholarship to a science school in the city, and now she has to convince her parents to let her go. This is where Charlie comes in. Charlie, who lives in the city, and whom Rose has ignored for years. Charlie, who just might be Rose's ticket out.

Told in alternating voices and filled with music, friendship, and romance, Charlie and Rose's "little wanting song" is about the kind of longing that begins as a heavy ache but ultimately makes us feel hopeful and wonderfully alive.

Charlie

Dad and I leave town in the early dark. It's the second Sunday of the holidays, and we pack up the old blue car with enough clothes for summer and hit the road. It's so early he's wiping hills of sand piled in the corners of his eyes. I wipe a few tears from mine. Tears don't pile, though. They grip and cling and slide in salty trails that I taste till the edge of the city. It's our first Christmas in the country since Gran died.   At six o'clock the sun rises and lights the car from the outside. Blinds us almost. Dad squints through his glasses at the road, but me? I close my eyes. I like things better when I listen. Everything in the world's got a voice; most people don't hear hard enough is all. Sunrise sounds like slow chords dripping from my guitar this morning. Sad chords, in B-flat.  

"Open your eyes, Charlie love," Mum whispers. "You'll miss out on the day." Not a lot to miss out on, really. My days have been sort of shaky lately. Like a voice running out ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

A Little Wanting Song is a perfect story of loss, love and the process of learning how to communicate about them both. While they are different in obvious, outward ways, Charlie and Rose are alike in deeper, internal ways, both struggling with complicated emotions. Cath Crowley alternately narrates the story from both Charlie's and Rose's point of view, so the reader is able to get inside the heads of both girls in a fluid, organic, and extremely satisfying way... A Little Wanting Song leaves the reader deeply satisfied and only wanting more... of Cath Crowley.   (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).

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Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Even secondary characters are fully realized in this touching exploration of friendship and its transformative potential.

Kirkus Reviews

Told in two distinct voices and replete with vivid images of ghosts, music and nature, this heartfelt, reflective novel is a natural read-alike to Jandy Nelson's The Sky Is Everywhere. Ages 13+.

Booklist

Crowley captures quiet moments with aching beauty and tenderness; her empathy for teen girls recalls Deb Caletti and Sarah Dessen. Grades 8-12.

School Library Journal

Starred Review. Give this incredible, satisfying book to fans of Sarah Dessen, Karen Foxlee, Melina Marchetta, Ellen Wittlinger - actually, give it to any teen girl who longs a little and feels too much - Australian or not.

VOYA

Crowley's prose is lyrical and lovely, her characters are beautifully crafted, and her portrayal of teen life in Australia is a delight.

Reader Reviews

my name is ginari

a little wanting song
This book is very great and I think that everybody should read it

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Beyond the Book

Who is Cath Crowley?

A Little Wanting Song left me wanting to know more about author Cath Crowley, but the biographical information immediately at hand was a little light, so I did some digging....

Cath Crowley is an Australian children's author. She was born in 1971 and grew up in a rural part of Victoria (SE Australia) with three brothers and a dog.

Although she told stories all the time, she never wrote any of them down and did not plan on being a writer. Then she moved to Europe and began writing letters to her brother, Anthony Crowley. Her letters were a sort of journal and she even wrote "Don't tell anyone this" at the top of them. Anthony did not quite heed her request. When she came back home she discovered that he had used her letters to ...

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