Most Valuable Review

Forget Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly. NPR? New York Times? Get in line. I’ve received a review of FORTE recently that has blown my mind.

My ten-year-old son, AJ, attended my recent book launch party at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga. The only kid under the age of twelve at the event, AJ displayed poise and maturity beyond his years. He sat right in the front row, listening carefully, his huge hazel eyes glistening with pride. After I read two chapters, I took questions from the audience.

Eager to be part of it all, AJ asked, “Are you working on another book?” — though he knew the answer.

Seeing his hand in the air, hearing his voice — it was all I could do to stay at the podium and not rush over to kiss every freckle on his sweet face.

Afterwards was the book signing.

“I want to buy Mom’s book but I don’t have any money,” AJ said to Grandmom.

Grandmom spotted him some cash and AJ brought the book to the counter to buy it himself, and proceeded to wait in line with the other customers in hopes to get his book signed.

AJ and Mom celebrate FORTE

AJ getting his book signed.

I signed it as I sign all copies: “Proud of you!” But this inscription had special meaning.

It only took him about two weeks to finish it. Yesterday, he wrote this review. My most cherished review ever. In his words…


Sami has always loved piano. She lived in New York City, but then her mother moved her to Skenesboro. At her high school, all the popular girls play volleyball, and are amazing at it. Sami, with a little magic from her coach, makes the team.

Afterwards, Sami drinks a “sports drink” to make her great at volleyball, and keeps doing it! But, success comes with a cost. Piano!

Sami has to decide who she really is. An athlete, or musician? She also finds out much more about herself, her family, and the town’s heritage.

I would definitely rate this book 6 stars, but not completely because the author is my mom. It’s because this book is VERY well written, an awesomely touching, adventurous and creative story for everyone 9 and up.

  • Anthony Spero, Age 10
AJ reads FORTE

AJ Spero reads his mom’s book before bed.


    1. Thanks so much, Betsy! I’d love to hear what you think of the final product, since you experienced first-hand the foundation and frame — !

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