Form and Content

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

The Trumpet of the Swan is an enchanting story about Louis, a trumpeter swan without a voice, and his plight to fit in with nature. At one point in time, Louis thought that “fate is cruel to me,” and not being able to speak led him to believe that he was “defective.” With his father’s help and his own creativity, however, Louis becomes a famous and happy swan.

Louis is born without a voice, a definite disadvantage for a trumpeter swan. He is befriended by Sam Beaver, an eleven-year-old boy, who is camping with his father. Sam tries to help Louis and takes him to school so that he can learn to read and write. Louis is a fast learner and spends the rest of his life with a slate and a piece of chalk around his neck. This works well when Louis wants to communicate with humans, but, unfortunately, swans do not know how to read. This situation becomes a problem for Louis when he falls in love with the disinterested Serena. Serena is used to her suitors saying “ko-hoh,” and Louis is not able say “I love you” in that manner.

Louis’ father decides to fly to Billings, Montana, to secure a trumpet for his son so that the horn can be Louis’ “voice.” Since he does not have any money to pay for the horn, he is forced to steal it from the music store and put his honor aside for the love of his child.

Louis learns to play the trumpet, but he is upset that the instrument has not been paid for. Again, with the help of Sam, Louis acquires a summer job at Camp KooKoosKoos in...

(The entire section is 624 words.)