An Instrument for Florenda

Children - Grade 4th-6th
120 Pages
Reviewed on 05/25/2022
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Author Biography

Tomeko Brown, an award-winning author, educator, and mother of two, has captivated readers with her debut juvenile fiction, An Instrument for Florenda. With a passion for writing and music that began in her childhood, Tomeko honed her skills by playing the clarinet in a small community school, setting the stage for her future artistic endeavors. Throughout her career, Tomeko has dedicated herself to inspiring and educating children of all ages. From working in K-5 classrooms, her commitment to excellence in education shines through in all of her endeavors. Tomeko's education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education and a Master of Education in Instructional Design. Her education has equipped her with the skills necessary to create engaging and effective learning experiences for students of all backgrounds. Tomeko's passion for literature, education, and creativity is evident in all aspects of her life. As a celebrated author, educator, and mother, she continues to inspire and uplift those around her.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jennie More for Readers' Favorite

An Instrument for Florenda by Tomeko Brown and Christopher Smallwood is about a young girl who wants to learn to play the clarinet after the school announces that they are introducing their first band after the summer vacation. The school hired a teacher who had played in the orchestra to instruct them. Excited about the new band and the possibility of playing the clarinet at the Winter Concert, Florenda speaks to her mom about buying her a clarinet as she would like to join the band. Florenda goes with her mother to the store to look at clarinets, but after hearing the price, Florenda’s mom informs her that she can’t afford it. Devastated by the news, Florenda worked multiple jobs throughout her summer vacation to buy a clarinet, determined to achieve her dream.

An Instrument for Florenda by Tomeko Brown and Christopher Smallwood is a delightful and inspirational book that teaches children about the beauty of dreams and how hard work and persistence pays off. Brown and Smallwood encourage youngsters never to give up because there is always a solution to every stumbling block and that when you put in the work, others will notice and help you on your journey. Another key message was that everyone is bad at something when they get started, but practice makes perfect, and to never give up on your dreams. Florenda’s determination is an inspiration to children and adults alike. I enjoyed reading this sweet, beautifully written, and heartwarming story about a little girl who chases her dreams and doesn’t let anything stand in her way.