Title: The Violin Case Casethe-violin-case-case
Author: Diantha Warfel
Pages: 151
Reading Level: 10 & up
Star Rating: ★★★

A valuable violin – or is it the case? – is being tracked by a mysterious man…

The Story.

More than anything else, Bax longs to play in the local summer orchestra. He thinks that nothing could be more thrilling than to draw the bow across his violin strings at the center of a big body of players, all performing the same piece. But he also doubts he’ll be accepted. After all, he’s just a twelve year old kid!

When Bax’s Aunt Daphne visits him, she encourages him to audition for the orchestra. She also swaps out an old violin that she just bought for his violin. Bax soon learns that this old violin isn’t any old violin – it’s a special violin that several mysterious people are trying to track down, to handle, to steal. But why? What could be so attractive to them about this old violin? Or could it be the case….?

Discussion.

The Violin Case Case is a story driven by music – music history, music performance, music theory, everything. And because of this, I enjoyed it – it was fun to have a main character who was named after Bach and who longed to play in an orchestra. I also appreciated Bax’s knowledge of composers and their compositions.

Relationally speaking, The Violin Case Case is a bit jumbled. Bax loves his parents, and they love him, but that love does not lead him to confide in them; on several occasions he holds back information from them. In the end, he tells them about everything, and they prescribe a punishment for him which “he had to admit was just.” [pg. 120]

In the course of telling a story, Bax’s Aunt Daphne mentions a young man that she was “sure she had fascinated”. Bax is impatient because “he did not want her to get sidetracked onto the continuing soap opera of her love life.” She was previously divorced. [pg. 5] Bax later comments that Aunt Daphne “always has men falling in love with her.” [pg. 42]

It is mentioned that a girl has a boyfriend. The same girl sometimes uses Kip’s phone whenever she wants to have a conversation without her mother listening in.

After the orchestra butchers one of Beethoven’s overtures, the conductor looks heavenward and says, “Forgive them, Ludwig.” It is a humorous moment, but also an irreligious one.

Due to its appearance, Kip decides that a particular prowler is the devil. Later, he amends his theory concludes that it was the ghost of Paganini or Beethoven.

When Bax and Susan chase a man into a basement, Susan says of him,

“He’s down there still,” she whispered. “Stumbling in the darkness, a lost soul wailing for a way out. And then he’s going to turn into ectoplasm, and he’ll come oozing up the stairs, a strange gray form—“ [pg. 79]

At this point, Bax is spooked and stops her.

Bax’s father tells him that he’s been behaving like a ghost.

Magic is referenced twice.

Conclusion. The Violin Case Case definitely falls into the ‘Filler Fiction’ category. However, as filler fiction, it’s fun and entertaining.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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