Life has been challenging for 10-year-old Cadence Mariah Jolly ever since her mother disappeared to pursue her musical dreams. As Cadence desperately yearns for her missing mom, she nurses her own musical and literary dreams in Sherri Winston’s heartfelt novel.
In a book brimming with musical allusions, Cadence lives in Harmony, Pennsylvania, and plans to become a “No.1 Bestselling Author of Amazing Stories.” Meanwhile, not even her family or best friends realize that she’s a gifted singer like her mom. Cadence—so shy that people call her Mouse—is trying hard to summon the gumption to change that.
Opportunity presents itself through youth choir auditions at Cadence’s lively, bustling church. Winston weaves occasional biblical references throughout the novel but still manages to create a story for all creeds and colors—a rare feat indeed. Too timid to audition in person, Cadence posts an anonymous video that soon goes viral, with news outlets vying frantically to identify the mysterious “Gospel Girl.” Ultimately, Cadence faces the agonizing choice of being true to herself or betraying one of her best friends.
Winston has a superb knack for creating intriguing middle school relationships, natural dialogue and an entire village of believable, multicultural characters. The Sweetest Sound is a deftly written saga that reads like a small symphony.