The Last Holiday Concert

For Ages: 8 - 12
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Winterhope.
It didn't sound like much, but it was a big idea. A very big idea.
It all started when Hart Evans zinged a rubber band that hit Mr. Meinert, the chorus director. Actually, it started before that, when Mr. Meinert learned he was out of a job because the town budget couldn't afford music and art teachers. Mr. Meinert got so mad at Hart that he told the sixth graders he'd had it -- they could produce the big holiday concert on their own. Or not. It was all up to them.
What happens when a teacher steps aside and lets the kids run the show? Not what Mr. Meinert would have predicted. And not what Hart Evans would have guessed, not at all.
Out of chaos, infighting, compromise, idealism, and finally, a fragile peace, the sixth grade choral concert was born. And they called it Winterhope.
But would it be the last holiday concert of them all?
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Book Details:
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 176 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689845161 | 
  • October 2004 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
List Price $19.99

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Reading Group Guide

The Last Holiday Concert About the Book Just because he is popular doesn’t mean sixth-grader Hart Evans has all the answers. He doesn’t know how to get his little sister Sarah off his back. And he doesn’t know how to make Mr. Meinert’s chorus class any less aggravating. Or maybe he does. One boring afternoon Hart snaps a rubber band toward his teacher’s podium with an astonishing result. Struggling to control the class and about to be laid off, Mr. Meinert is in no mood to have his worth challenged by a student prank. So he simply stops rehearsing for the upcoming holiday concert. The class elects an unwilling Hart as their new director. Unlike Mr. Meinert and his iron fist, Hart manages the class with loose, friendly charm and encourages everyone’s input. But as the show date approaches, it becomes clear that the concert is chaos. When Hart tries to take tighter control, selecting which kids’ acts to include and which to leave out, his popularity plummets. Distressed by his loss of friends yet not willing to put on a mediocre show, Hart turns to Mr. Meinert. The incredible concert that finally comes to the stage incorporates the Hart-generated frenzy of ideas around Mr. Meinert’s structured theme. They call it Winterhope. But will it be the last holiday concert of them all? Discussion Topics 1. At the beginning of the story, do you like Hart Evans? Do you think he would be a popular kid at your school? Explain your answers. 2. see more

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