Sonata #1 for
Riley Red

A Novel by Phoebe Stone

(Ages 10 and up)

Published by Little, Brown and Company Fall 2003.

ISBN 0-316-99041-8

“Phoebe Stone’s new book, Sonata #1 for Riley Red, features a band of five misfits. Their misadventure together turns them into veritable outlaws in 1960's Cambridge, Massachusetts. The resulting tale is as rich in action as it is in quirky characterization”
--Read the entire review

Set in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the 1960's -- when Dylan was an unknown folksinger playing in Club 47 -- Sonata # 1 for Riley Red is the story of thirteen-year-old Rachel Townsend who is living with a shadow in her life that she is avoiding at all costs. Rachel's secret makes her a loner at school until she is "rescued" by eccentric and dramatic Desmona and her loveable, cool, older brother Riley.

Desmona collects the left-outs and misfits at school. In addition to Rachel she has taken Woolsey (who lives in Rachel's apartment building) under her wing. Driven by Desmona's wish to do one "extraordinary great deed," the group rides around in Riley's little red sports car, saving dozens of threatened cats and dogs from the pound.

Desmona is a vegetarian and leads the group in a protest over animal rights that results in their suspension from school. Undeterred, Desmona plots the nighttime rescue of a neglected circus elephant from a run-down zoo. As their efforts go awry, Rachel must decide what she can do to be a part of life rather than watch it go by.

Sonata #1 for Riley Red is Phoebe Stone’s second novel. Written in a style meant to be enjoyed by both children and adults. Her successful first novel All the Blue Moons at the Wallace Hotel was widely praised and is now available in paperback.

The New York Times Book Review called Stone's prose “haunting and poetic, grounded in realistic adolescent language.”

Find out more about

Phoebe Stone's novel

Sonata #1 for Riley Red


a story so rich
with complex characters.”

Find out about Phoebe’s newest novel:
Romeo Blue

The Boy on Cinnamon Street

The Romeo and Juliet Code

Deep Down Popular

All the Blue Moons at the Wallace Hotel

When the Wind Bears Go Dancing

What Night Do the Angels Wander?

Go Away Shelley Boo!

Phoebe's Books | About Phoebe | News & Reviews | The Gallery

Kids Page | For Teachers | Events

Write to Phoebe | HOME PAGE | To Order Books

Sonata # 1 for Riley Red
Copyright © 2003 by Phoebe Stone