Duet by Elise Broach

Hello, Elise Broach! Welcome to Watch. Connect. Read.! I’m a HUGE fan of your books. I’m grateful you’re here today to discuss Duet, your forthcoming middle-grade book that has the MOST INTRIGUING cover. 

Elise Broach: Hello, John Schu! Thank you for all of your wonderful efforts to connect readers to books, and for your interest in Duet.

There are so many wonderful details to take in and study on the cover! Are you up for taking us on a tour of Ziyue Chen’s eye-catching illustration? Maybe start with the bird? ☺

Elise Broach: I’m so glad you like the cover – I think Ziyue Chen did a fantastic job with it. I love its aura of mystery and adventure – the perfect combination for this book – and the way the goldfinch Mirabelle dominates the scene, soaring across the foreground. Mirabelle is the narrator of this story and she longs to be a star, so she would be very pleased with this cover arrangement. ☺ In the background, you can see Michael Jin, the boy Mirabelle befriends, who is a gifted piano player getting ready for the performance of his life. He’s seated at a piano in “the house full of treasures,” an abandoned house that he and Mirabelle explore in their quest to find a long-lost piano—one that might once have belonged to the famous composer Frédéric Chopin.


Scenario: A bookseller at RJ Julia asks you to fill out a shelftalker about Duet

Elise Broach: In this fast-paced mystery, a sociable, musically gifted goldfinch tells the story of her friendship with a piano-playing boy and their quest to win a contest, save a house full of treasures, and find a piano that might once have belonged to the great composer Frédéric Chopin.


Please finish the following sentence starters:

Music is almost as old a tradition in human society as story-telling, and it can convey nearly every emotion, from the deepest sadness to the purest joy. It is a language without words.

Story is magic. Stories connect us to each other and give us a way to understand ourselves and the world around us – they are like a secret code to decipher life’s mysteries.

John Schu, you should have asked me what gave me the idea for this book. I had written a novel (Masterpiece) about a beetle with an incredible talent for drawing, and I wanted to write another story about an animal with an unusual gift. I read that Mozart once had a pet starling that could sing a theme from one of his piano concertos, which made me interested in birds singing human music… which led me to my goldfinch Mirabelle, her friendship with a young piano-player, and their effort to solve the real historical mystery of Chopin’s missing piano.

Thanks for talking to me about Duet! Happy reading, everyone!

Thank you, Elise! Congratulations! 


Elise Broach is the New York Times bestselling author of many books for children and young adults, including Masterpiece, Shakespeare’s Secret, The Wolf Keepers, Desert Crossing, the Superstition Mountain trilogy, and the Masterpiece Adventures chapter book series. She lives in Connecticut. 


Look for Duet on May 10, 2022. Pre-order here


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