Jukebox was a truly fun read that I was happy to get my hands on. While it didn’t quite life up to my expectations, this is a great graphic novel that I think has crossover young reader and middle grade appeal. The content is better for middle grade, but some young readers will be drawn to the illustrations and might be able to swing it!

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The summary, from Amazon:

Grab some coins for the jukebox, and get ready for a colorful, time-traveling, musical tale about family and courage.
A mysterious jukebox, old vinyl records, and cryptic notes on music history, are Shaheen’s only clues to her father’s abrupt disappearance. She looks to her cousin, Tannaz, who seems just as perplexed, before they both turn to the jukebox which starts…glowing?

Suddenly, the girls are pulled from their era and transported to another time! Keyed to the music on the record, the jukebox sends them through decade after decade of music history, from political marches, to landmark concerts. But can they find Shaheen’s dad before the music stops? This time-bending magical mystery tour invites readers to take the ride of their lives for a coming-of-age adventure.

Buy Jukebox here.

Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani has such an interesting concept, making for a fun read. Shahi and Naz set out to track down where Shahi’s father has disappeared to and find a jukebox in the record store he frequents. The two soon realize that the jukebox transports them to the time the record they are playing was released. They travel through time using music to find Shahi’s father.

I loved that this book feature a diverse cast, including a mixed main character, and representative – a character comes out as bi throughout the course of the graphic novel. I also loved that the music featured is all by Black artists throughout history. It was also awesome to me that Shahi is a bit of a timid character. So often in children’s books the main character is brave, and I liked seeing that a shyer, more wary character could still be a hero. This was definitely a cool book with a lot of kid appeal.

I did wish that this book had included a little more detail. The concept was so fun and yet the book was short. I felt like the end wrapped up too quickly without enough information. I would have rather it been a series, or have had the backmatter go into more detail about the historical events Shahi and Naz visited.

Overall, this is a solid and fun read. I finished it in one sitting and think children who like graphic novels will enjoy this one. It was a 3 star read for me.

Find out more about how I rate books here.

JukeboxJukebox by Nidhi Chanani
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Such a fun concept and I love the diversity and representation. Would’ve loved for this to have gone more in depth, either as a series, with more scenes, or backmatter.

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Book Club Questions

  1. What was your favorite era or event the girls visited? Why?
  2. Are you familiar with any of the songs in this book? Which ones?
  3. Do you have a song that you associate with a moment in your life or a song that makes you feel as if you have been taken back in time? Share it!
  4. What do Shahi and Naz have in common? How are they different?
  5. What brings Shahi and her father together? Why did they get in an argument? How was their argument resolved?

Interested? Buy Jukebox.
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