The Black Canary by Jane Louise Curry has many elements to recommend it: time travel to Elizabethan England; bi-racial American kid, son of two professional musicians; Queen Elizabeth's chapel choir and players. But I don't think it lived up to the possibilities. I enjoyed the book, but the narrative style made me feel distant from James, the hero, even though I desperately wanted to know more about his interesting family and how he fit into it. There was, I felt, more telling than showing, and it weakened my perception of the character.
Also, I felt cheated by the historical bits. They were fascinating, but I felt the story ended before its potential was fulfilled. I could see what the author was doing, I think, I could see how she went against expectations, and that was good, but I still felt letdown at the end.
I think I would have liked this more had it been a lot longer and deeper, and I'm sure the author had done enough research to accomplish that. There was so much to explore, and much of it was only touched lightly and tantalizingly.