Mylisa Larsen

Playing Through the Turnaround

In a timely, insightful story told with sparkling wit and heart, young musicians protesting plans for budget cuts navigate miscalculations, indifferent adults, and unexpected loss as they discover the power of speaking out and the value of listening.

“A brave and dazzling debut, this timely novel is a blueprint for hope.”—Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medalist and best-selling author of The One and Only Ivan

“Keen and clear and fiercely funny.”—Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medalist and best-selling author of A Long Walk to Water

“Brilliant, sharp, comic, poignant, and true.”— Gary D. Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor-winning author of The Wednesday Wars

“A splendid novel filled with honesty and heart.”—Karina Yan Glaser, best-selling author of the Vanderbeekers series.

Fifth period is hands down the best time of day in Connor U. Eubanks Middle School, because that’s when Mr. Lewis teaches Jazz Lab. So his students are devastated when their beloved teacher quits abruptly. Once they make a connection between budget cuts and Mr. Lewis’s disappearance, they hatch a plan: stop the cuts, save their class.

Soon, they become an unlikely band of crusaders, and their quest quickly snowballs into something much bigger—a movement involving the whole middle school. But the adults in charge seem determined to ignore their every protest. How can the kids make themselves heard?

Mylisa Larsen
Mylisa Larsen has been telling stories for a long time. This has caused her to get gimlet-eyed looks from her parents, her siblings and, later, her own children when they felt that certain stories had been embellished beyond acceptable limits. She now writes children’s books where her talents for hyperbole are actually rewarded.

She is the author of the picture books How to Put Your Parents to Bed, If I Were A Kangaroo, and Ho Ho Homework. Her debut middle grade novel, Playing Through The Turnaround, was published in October 2022.

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