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THE LUTHIERS: JoAnn and Mr. Gustov by Suzanne Pollock

THE LUTHIERS: JoAnn and Mr. Gustov

by Suzanne Pollock

132 pages
Today, I stopped by a little shop to get my guitar fixed. The owner, Mr. Gustov, calls himself a luthier and is very precise about everything, including sweeping the already-spotless floor. He offers me a job to help pay for the repairs, but I donít see modern machines or tools in use in his workshop. What have I gotten myself into?

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Category: Fiction:Juvenile
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About the Book
A broken guitar string takes JoAnn on a journey into fascinating world of creativity and artistry. In pursuit of repairs for her guitar, JoAnn enters Mr. Gustovís violin shop. She is immediately captivated by the beauty of the instruments on display and is stunned to learn that they are all handcrafted. She feels connected with the wood and begins to wonder if she could ever create something so special.

Mr. Gustov lends JoAnn a book about becoming a luthier and offers her a job to help pay for the repairs. Having never assembled a birdhouse or even built a box, JoAnn is plagued with doubts about her abilities. Gustov soon realizes that JoAnn has a keen eye for detail, and he teaches her to stain furniture and, eventually, to refinish her own guitar. Within weeks, JoAnnís thoughts are occupied by everything she experiences in crafting instruments, though she doesnít mention this fascination to most of her friends at school.

JoAnn struggles to balance her sophomore year course load, performances with her band, and her work at the violin shop. Playing with the band provides a reliable escape from daily pressures and support from her bandmates as JoAnn investigates her new interests. An industrial arts class not only exposes JoAnn to the benefits and inadequacies of machine crafting, it opens a door to cultivate an old friendship. Meanwhile, at Mr. Gustovís shop, she is faced with mistakes in precision and tests to her patience while learning the use of hand tools in the instrument building process. She discovers that every tiny movement is monumental to the process, and Mr. Gustov reminds her time after time that the ultimate test for a finished instrument is in its sound. An old music teacher encourages JoAnn to repair a student violin, and word of her skill begins to circulate. JoAnn perseveres to master each step and eventually acknowledges a rare talent that makes her take a new look at her future.

THE LUTHIERS: JoAnn and Mr. Gustov provides insight to the detailed, time-consuming process of building instruments through the eyes of a teenage girl. The story unveils relationships between friends and family members as the teen girl unveils her unique abilities and alters their expectations. This exceptional literary piece takes you on a tour of the instrument crafting process, through the picturesque trees and their resulting products, and ultimately to witness a prolific partnership between young JoAnn and master luthier Mr. Gustov.

 

 

About the Author
Suzanne Pollock is a retired music teacher who has spent much of her life surrounded by talented Appalachian artists and craftsman. Her young performing arts students posed endless questions which spurred her imagination, and ultimately, inspired her to write.

 

 

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