About the Book

“Blume offers a story that is as rich as it is delicious.” – Booklist, *starred review*

“Blume has skillfully combined humor, history, and music to create an enjoyable novel that builds to a surprising crescendo.” - School Library Journal

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Meet Franny Hansen, the rising star of Rusty Nail.

Time drags in Rusty Nail and nothing ever seems to happen. Once it was the exciting American Coot capital of the world, but in 1953, it’s just a sleepy backwater farm town with one dusty traffic light and a bizarre cast of characters.

Franny has lived there all her life: ten whole years. On the surface, she seems like a regular girl. She goes to school, throws water balloons at her neighbors, and watches space movies at Hauser’s Movie Palace like everyone else. Her dad is an accountant who always forgets to take off his green eyeshade and her mother is the worst cook in town.

However, Franny is not like everyone else. She has a special talent: playing the piano. In fact, she’s already a better pianist than the town’s crabby piano teacher—and so, with no one to teach her, Franny is stuck and her talent is going to waste.

That is, until a mysterious Russian woman arrives in Rusty Nail and turns the whole town upside-down. Her neighbors are convinced that the ‘Commie’ is a threat to their American way of life, but Franny thinks that this stranger could be her ticket to the top. Does she dare defy the town in order to realize her ambitions?

The Rising Star of Rusty Nail is a poignant, raucous, and laugh-out-loud story of one girl’s attempt to pursue the American dream in small-town America.