A fierce voice longs to break free.
A spark ignites inside fourteen-year-old Iz Beaufort when she hears the school music group Manifesto perform. Even though she hasn’t written a song since That Place, she recognizes herself in the moving performance and longs to be part of the group, certain that they might actually understand her. But Manifesto is based at the prestigious Métier School, and Iz has bounced through twenty-six foster homes. Plus, there’s no way Dominion Children’s Care would ever send a foster kid to a private school when a public option is available.
So Iz does what any passionate, broken, off-the-chart wunderkind might and takes matters into her own hands. Iz fakes her way in only to face a new set of challenges: tuition fees, tough classwork, and new classmates she can’t immediately identify as friends or foes. And if she can’t handle all this while keeping how she got into Métier a secret, she could get kicked out of both school and her current home. But a life with music—a life where Iz gets to have a voice—might be worth risking everything.
Susan Currie has been an elementary teacher in Brampton, Ontario for over twenty years. During that time, she’s written three books—Basket of Beethoven (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2001), The Mask That Sang (Second Story Press, 2016) and Iz the Apocalypse (Common Deer Press, 2023).
Susan has spent most of her life being involved with music! She started piano lessons at the age of five and completed her ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music at sixteen. When she was in her teens, she attended the Banff School of Fine Arts, where she was a pianist in the “gifted youth” program. When she got older, she earned a living as an accompanist, pit musician, music director, choir director, organist, dinner musician, leader of various music programs for children, and piano teacher.
When Susan went to university, she had a tough decision to make—music or writing? She loved them both. In the end, she chose to pursue an English degree, and now has an MA in Children’s Literature. She uses that in her classroom every day, but also regularly has fun exploring music with many enthusiastic little people. So, both of her great “loves” play a huge role in her life.
Susan is an adoptee who was in the foster care system briefly as a baby, and only learned of her Haudenosaunee heritage (Cayuga Nation, Turtle Clan) as an adult. She is happily married to John, has a wonderful daughter named Rachel, and a very poorly behaved cat named Lockey.
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Basket of Beethoven (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2001)
The Mask that Sang (Second Story Press, 2016)
Iz the Apocalypse (Common Deer Press, 2023)