Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com
It's late on a hot, sticky summer night, and Bobby and Sassy Piero are trying to find the people playing the jazz that's blowing on the wind. Bobby doesn't like jazz, but this time it's different, alive somehow. Plus, it's something to do. Sassy is hesitant to be wandering so far away from home, but brother and sister always travel together.
They find the musicians in and around an apartment building, in the shadows, on the fire escapes, in the street. When Mona begins to sing, Sassy's life changes. The musicians, the music itself takes hold of her soul. Life can never be the same for Sassy, not after the Firebreakers.
The Firebreakers are the jazz musicians, and they're dragons. Dragons that have human form, more or less. Sassy is hooked. Too bad they seem to have disappeared. Out of sight doesn't mean out of mind for Sassy, though. And when word of the Firebreakers starts to float around again, Sassy has a choice to make. One that might leave her brother behind, but might also be Sassy's destiny.
This book is about growing up, choosing your path, finding your dreams and following them. It's about having the courage to give in to your dream completely, letting it take over. It's about the people you leave behind, sometimes on accident. It's about what you take with you, and how you use it. It's about love and passion and strength and fear and all the things that make life so desperately beautiful and sad and terrifying and wonderful.
I have been looking for years for a book that reads the way music sounds. Silly me, I've been looking in non-fiction books about music. And while I've read some good and interesting books (though not necessarily both at the same time), and learned a lot about music, I've never quite found what I was looking for. Until now. The words slide off the page into your head like a drum beat, a bass riff, a trumpet solo. And the noise of the world seems a little bit different when you're inside this book. It doesn't matter if you don't like jazz, if you don't believe in dragons, or even if you don't like fantasy. This book takes you somewhere unbelievable and familiar at the same time. It feels like coming home to a place that you forgot about.