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"Tashjian is spot-on…”—School Library Journal
"...the endless stream of musical and historical references places the action very firmly in 1971-72 and showcases Tashjian’s flawless research…”—Kirkus
"Even those who do not share Quinn’s musical passion will be inspired by his growing understanding of the complex adult world and the sacrifice he makes." —Publishers Weekly
Praise for Vote for Larry:
A Publishers Weekly Editor’s Pick
Time Out NewYork Kids Pick of the Literature
Lois Lowry's Top Five Books for Summer
Booksense National Bestseller List
Praise for The Gospel According to Larry:
A Booksense Pick
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
A New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age
A Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
A Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book
Praise for My Life as a Book:
“Give this to kids who think they don’t like reading. It might change their minds.” —Booklist, starred review
“A kinder, gentler Wimpy Kid with all the fun and more plot.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Sure to engage fans of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid books (Abrams) as well as those looking for a spunky, contemporary boy with a mystery to solve.” —School Library Journal
Rock and roll can change the world and save your life—and that’s just for starters. I challenge anyone on the planet to remain in a bad mood when “Gimme Shelter” comes on the radio. It’s physically impossible, right? Rock and roll can get you through a boring school year, give you something to bond over with your friends, even provide you with a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
You think I’m exaggerating? Listening to music is a critical step in growing up, as important as learning how to ride a bike with no hands. And not just rock and roll—pop, rhythm and blues, country, jazz—I don’t care what it is, I’ll listen to it. I’m like a junkie with a twenty-four-hour addiction, except the needle’s not in my arm, it’s on my turntable. Lucky for me, I live in the epicenter of the national music scene. Not just California, but Los Angeles. And not just Los Angeles, but Laurel Canyon. If you love music, there’s nowhere else to be in 1971 but here. I can sit on my front steps, throw a rock in any direction, and hit someone making music for a living. Songwriters, drummers, singers, sound engineers—I’ve trick-or-treated at their houses since grade school. My sister, Soosie, housesits for Joni Mitchell, for crying out loud. Don’t believe me? Ask Soosie to show you the scratches on her arm from Joni’s cat—the singer/songwriter might be known for writing emotionally bare songs about her love life, but her feline companion is a lot less subtle with her claws.
Where do I fit into this musical melting pot? I’m the guy who chronicles EVERYTHING in his ever-present notebook—Elton John’s first U.S. appearance at the Troubador, The Band’s newest demo, any rock-and-roll tidbit a music freak like me might want to know about. I continually make lists of songs, artists, and albums—mostly when I should be doing homework. I begged my English teacher last year to let me write a column for the school paper about the music scene called “For What It’s Worth,” based on the Buffalo Springfield song. She finally relented, and I’ve been cranking out columns and lists ever since. Just to keep in practice, I stockpiled several of them this summer too. Speaking of Joni Mitchell, I just finished one about her dumping Graham Nash while she was on vacation. Women—they’ll annihilate your heart every time.
The city is pulsing, the city is moving to an internal beat—can you hear it?
Text copyright © 2012 by Janet Tashjian
Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Adam Gustavson
Posted January 10, 2014
This was a gift for my son who loves this author. He loved the book. He actually wrote to this author and she was kind enough to write a hand-written reply to him.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 2, 2012
This book totally change my life. I already love the author and have met her but i was still slow to read this book. I wish i hadn't waited. It was amazing. You don't even have to love music to love this book i am at a loss for words - that good. As soon as i finished this book i turned off all the lights in my room put on the radio and sat in the dark thinking about the book. I am not kidding one of the best books i have read. I am in sixth grade so like 11 and up
- The Bookworm Girl
Posted August 21, 2012
This book is awesome! I love rock music, so it was really cool to be able to read a novel starring some of the greats. The only problem was that it made me wish I lived during that time! I'm totally making a playlist for this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 21, 2012
My daughter and I picked this book for our mother/daughter book club because I was her age in the 70s and I wanted her to know about the culture at the time. My daughter's knowledge of the music in the book was limited, which led to much discussion and sharing about our favorite music and rock and roll history. I loved the way that this book allowed me to bond with her.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.