by Nidhi Chanani (Author) Nidhi Chanani (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 6th — 7th Grade

Grab some coins for the jukebox, and get ready for a colorful, time-traveling musical tale about friendship and courage.

A mysterious jukebox, old vinyl records, and cryptic notes on music history, are Shaheen's only clues to her father's abrupt disappearance. She looks to her cousin, Tannaz, who seems just as perplexed, before they both turn to the jukebox which starts...glowing?

Suddenly, the girls are pulled from their era and transported to another time! Keyed to the music on the record, the jukebox sends them through decade after decade of music history, from political marches, to landmark concerts. But can they find Shaheen's dad before the music stops?

This time-bending magical mystery tour invites readers to take the ride of their lives for a coming-of-age adventure.


She weaves musicality into her exploration of personal relationships, creating a world where music connects us all. Shahi has Italian and Bangladeshi heritage; Naz is Bangladeshi American and bisexual, and Earl is Black. Captivating and lyrical.

Copyright 2021 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

A time-traveling jukebox, snapshots of social unrest, parent-child dynamics, and a heavy dose of vinyl nostalgia-the puzzle pieces are there for a meaningful story about how music connects us, especially in challenging times, but Chanani's latest graphic novel doesn't quite hit the mark. Young teen Shaheen and her cousin Tannaz search for Shaheen's missing father, Gio, by shuffling their way through the time periods represented by the magical jukebox's albums, from 1930s Harlem to a James Brown concert in Boston right after Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination to the birth of hip-hop and beyond. As compelling as it sounds, a story of just over 200 pages isn't enough to fully realize the many themes introduced. Cultural moments are merely hinted at, and the interpersonal relationships at the book's core are traced lightly-the result is a plot that is exciting but wanting. Chanani's illustrations are colorful but flat; one gets the sense that the narrative would have been far stronger given more space to develop. Shaheen and Tannaz are Muslim and South Asian American; Gio is white; Earl, the jukebox's creator-owner, is Black, and intercultural interactions are centered in the narrative. VERDICT An exhilarating though uneven jumble of intriguing concepts, this graphic novel has many elements, musical and interpersonal, that may pique the interest of readers, especially fans of Chanani's. An additional purchase for larger collections.

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Nidhi Chanani
Nidhi Chanani was born in Kolkata, India and raised in California. She creates illustrations that capture love in everyday moments which are often featured at Disney Parks. In 2012 she was honored by the Obama Administration as a Champion of Change. She's the author of Pashmina, Shubh Raatri Dost/Good Night Friend, and illustrator of I Will Be Fierce. Nidhi draws and dreams in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and kid.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
June 20, 2021

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