The Definitive Guide to

Beginners Welcome

Written & illustrated by Cindy Baldwin
Published by HarperCollins
5.0 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.2 / 5.0
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used $2.00
Feb 11, 2020
Publication Date
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What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

The acclaimed author of Where the Watermelons Grow is back with a story perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Ali Benjamin, about finding friendship after a tragic loss.

It’s been eighty-three days since Annie Lee’s daddy died, but she still sees reminders of him everywhere. His record player mysteriously plays his favorite songs, there’s shaving cream in the sink every morning, and the TV keeps flipping to the Duke basketball games he loved.

She knows Mama notices it too, but Mama’s been working around the clock to make ends meet. To make matters worse, Annie Lee’s friends ditched her over the summer. She feels completely alone—until she meets Mitch.

Though Mitch is tough and confident on the outside, she may need a friend just as badly as Annie Lee. But after losing so much, Annie Lee is afraid to let anyone get too close.

And Mitch isn’t the only friend trying to break through Annie Lee’s defenses. Ray, an elderly pianist who plays at a local mall, has been giving her piano lessons. His music is pure magic, and Annie Lee hopes it might be the key to healing her broken heart. But when Ray goes missing, searching for him means breaking a promise to Mitch.

Faced with once again losing those who mean the most to her, Annie Lee must make a choice: retreat back into her shell, or risk admitting how much she needs Mitch and Ray—even if it means getting hurt all over again.

Just like in her debut, Where the Watermelons Grow, Cindy Baldwin brings her signature twist of magic to this authentically heartfelt story.

What Kind of Book is Beginners Welcome

Quotes from This Book

  • “But I messed it all up.” Ray shrugged. “So? There’s a little mess in all of us.”
  • “Letting people see past my invisibility cloak meant they could hurt me. But I guessed it meant they could love me, too.”
  • “It might hurt less if I forgot my daddy—but not remembering him, not remembering how wonderful he’d been, would be worse.”

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

The Goodfather
Favorite pastime? Reading with my kids. Just finished Nana Cracks the Case!
5.0 / 7.0

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Who Wrote Beginners Welcome

author & illustrator
Cindy Baldwin

Cindy Baldwin is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Where the Watermelons Grow, an Indies Introduce and Indie Next title. As a teenager, she studied piano and violin and played many Christmas recitals at Brightleaf Square. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and daughter, surrounded by tall trees and wild blackberries. To learn more about Cindy, visit

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What Has Cindy Baldwin Said About This Book

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Cindy know that you want more details about Beginners Welcome! Try tweeting Cindy on twitter (@beingcindy) or messaging Cindy on instagram (@cindybaldwinbooks).

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Book Details

Publication Date:
February 11, 2020

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Core Score - 55%
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