Savvy New Yorker, 15 year old Melissa Jensen, suddenly finds herself a “stranger in a strange new land,” when her father accepts a temporary (seven months to be exact) teaching assignment in a small college town in the Midwest, tearing her away from her friends in Manhattan.
How inconvenient! She was suppose to be the lead in her school play, captain of the debate team and first violinist in the school orchestra. Instead, she must forfeit her Junior year glory and venture out to an obscure town in “the middle of nowhere.”
Her father’s offer of letting her live in New York with her grandparents is equally unappealing. No way will she follow their strict Orthodox Jewish rules.
Incredibly, her new school is filled with surprises! First, there’s her new drama teacher, a former Broadway actor. And who would have guessed that her new orchestra would be every bit as good or maybe even better than hers in New York. And what about that remarkable boy, named Daniel Goodman (the one with those dreamy eyes), who shares Melissa’s passion for playing the violin? Meanwhile, the coolest kids at school treat her like a celebrity for simply having grown up in the “Big Apple.”
Everything seems too good to be true, until Melissa comes across something she never experienced- antisemitism. Sure, she knows it exists everywhere…including New York City. But never in her neighborhood! No one in Henryville suspects that she is Jewish, but when Daniel, the only known Jewish student in school, is bullied by a bigoted star of the football team, Melissa must make a choice. Her decision should be clear-cut, but life is never that simple. THE VIOLIN PLAYERS examines the price paid when prejudice goes unchecked.