Get Happy, by Mary Amato (book review) – wanted: uke, dad, happiness

book cover of Get Happy by Mary Amato published by EgmontTeen songwriter wants an ukulele and better days.
Teen’s long-gone dad wants to see her at last.
Teen’s hyper-organized mom wants him to stay gone.

As the Rolling Stones sang, “You can’t always get what you want,” but be assured that the teens eventually do get what they need, even if they don’t know what it is as they audition as kids’ party entertainers.

Minerva writes out her happy and sad and angry moments in lyrics throughout the book, just waiting to play them on the uke. Listen to a demo track of “Salt” here, just one of the songs that the author composed for Get Happy  as she was writing the book!

Put this October 2014 release on your holiday gift list at your favorite independent bookstore or check out Get Happy at the local library.

Any other ‘can’t live without it’ books on your list this year?

Book info: Get Happy / Mary Damato. Egmont Publishing, 2014. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Being 16 starts with no ukulele from her clueless mom for songwriting Minerva, a new job with her best pal (kids’ party entertainer – it’ll be fun, right?), and an unexpected chance to be happier than she ever dreamed… unless everything goes as usual.

Meeting tall and funny Hayes as Min tags along with Fin for the “Get Happy” auditions was a nice surprise;  gorgeous Cassie as the fourth children’s entertainer of the group was not. But having a job means money to buy the uke of her dreams and a way to stay away from her mom, so it’s time to deal with stressed parents, jaded preteens, and occasional magic for birthday girls in their Chicago suburb.

Stunned to discover that her dad has been trying to contact her for 14 years, Min finds lies, half-truths, and uncomfortable reality when she and Fin look him up online. Her party character script always has a happy ending, but will Minerva’s real life story? (One of 6,000 books recommended on

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