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Meet the Author

Mary Brigid Barrett

Meet the Illustrator

Sandra Speidel

Sing to the Stars


Ephram was walking home from his violin lesson. He stopped to talk to Mr. Washington. Mr. Washington was blind, but he always knew when Ephram was walking down the street. Mr. Washington had heard Ephram play his violin. He knew that Ephram played well.

Mr. Washington told Ephram that there would be a concert the next night. It was an open mike concert, so anyone could perform. Mr. Washington told Ephram that he should play. Ephram was nervous.  He didn’t know if he would play his violin at the concert.

Later that night, Ephram found out that Mr. Washington used to be a professional piano player. But Mr. Washington never played anymore. Years ago, Mr. Washington had a car accident. He lost his sight, and his daughter died in the accident. Mr. Washington didn’t have enough joy in him to play music anymore.

Ephram had an idea. He would play at the concert. And Mr. Washington would play with him. Even though they were both nervous, Ephram and Mr. Washington played a duet at the concert.  They played beautiful music.


Realistic Fiction

  • Characters do things that real people and animals might do.

  • Places in the story are real or seem real.

  • The story tells about things that could really happen.

Think About the Selection
  1. Why do you think Ephram likes to practice on the roof?
  2. What does Mr. Washington mean when he tells Ephram, "Music speaks best when someone listens"?
  3. Why does Ephram want Mr. Washington to perform with him at the concert?
  4. Why do you think Mr. Washington finally decides to play the piano with Ephram?
  5. Ephram says that music speaks for him when he can't talk about his feelings. How do you feel when you listen to music?
  6. Explain how music helps Ephram and Maria Isabel solve their problems.
Extension Activities

Make Your Own Instrument

Sing to the Stars
Comprehension Skill

Story Structure

Definition (pdf)



Comparing with Adjectives

Quia Quiz


Basic Spelling List

Spelling City (test yourself)


VCCV pattern

VCCV Hangman

Consonant clusters