• American Girl Doll Crafter

Book Review: No Ordinary Sound - A Melody Classic


Last month, we went to our local Books A Million (You can read about that here) and found Melody's first book, No Ordinary Sound. (I have to say, it's one of the best American Girl books I've ever read!) I finished it a while back, but I haven't had time to write a review on it until now. So, let's get started!

This review contains LOTS of spoilers! If you want the book to be a suprise until you read it, come back to this post later. ;)


No Ordinary Sound retails at $9.99 and is written by Denise Lewis Patrick. She is the author of Addy's Journey book and Cécile Rey books from American Girl. The book has 232 pages! :)

On the back of the book, the description says...

"Melody can't wait to sing her first solo at church! What song will she choose? She gets advice from her big brother, who has his sights set on becoming a Motown star, and she gets inspiration from the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Melody's also inspired by her older sister, who's home from college has has lots of ideasabout making things fair. What isn't fair is their cousins' struggle to buy a house. Melody learns that they're not welcome in certain neighborhoods because they're black. Just as Melody's ready to sing, an unimangable tragedy leaves her silent. Can she find her voice when it really matters?

No Ordinary Sound, the first volume of Melody's stories about growing up in the 1960's, shows how people can come together to create a social change."

Things I liked: (Well, I pretty much loved the whole book, but here are some of my favorite things!)

  • Melody and her family are very close. They often have Sunday lunch at Big Momma (her grandmother) and Poppa's (her grandfather) house. I really enjoyed reading about the family gatherings. :)

  • Church. I was so suprised that Melody's story involved alot about church and faith. Usually American Girl won't put many things about religion in their books, so this was pretty awesome to me. In the book, Melody and her family can be found praying/singing before a meal, or singing in the church choir.

  • It has events from the civil rights movement. This was a very important and empowering time in our history. The Ellison family takes part in The Walk to Freedom, where Martin Luther gives a speech about equal rights.

  • I learned alot about the 1960's! I never really knew much about this time period until I read Melody's book.

  • Of course, Melody loves to sing! Her teacher has chosen her to perform a solo at Youth Day. Melody gets ideas from her whole family about her song, and she finally picks the right one that is special to her. Big Momma teaches voice lessons, so she helps Melody practice.

  • Motown also plays a big role in the story. Melody's older brother, Dwayne, dreams of being a Motown star and eventually begins a singing career. He sends Melody postcards, and I thought that was kinda sweet. ;)

Things I disliked:

  • Melody's other older sister, Lila, likes one of Dwayne's friends, Phil. I thought this was unessecary since she was just 13, but it wasn't mentioned much- only once or twice.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Ellison dissaprove of Dwayne wanting to start a singing career before college. In some parts, they sounded discouraging and almost a bit rude.

Here are some other interesting things I read in the book. :)

  • Besides singing, Melody also enjoys gardening. Her Poppa owns a flower shop, and she will sometimes help him work.

  • The Ellisons have a dog named Bojangles, their small mixed terrier.

  • Melody's cousin, Valerie, moves from Alabama to Detroit. Val's mom is a hair stylist.

  • In some parts of the book, it mentions that Melody wears braids quite often. This could be one of the reasons why Melody wore her hair in braids in the doll debut photos. Melody also gets her hair styled into her signature flip hairdo at Val's mom's hair salon.

Overall, I rate Melody's book 5 out of 5 stars. It was very fun and exciting to read, yet I learned so much. This book might be a little hard or confusing for younger girls, but I think anyone above 9 could read it and enjoy Melody's book. :)

What's your favorite Beforever book?

-American Girl Doll Crafter

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