Pepperland

Pepperland

4.8 9
by Mark Delaney
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Pamela Jean (a.k.a. Star) is sixteen when her mother dies, and nothing seems to make her feel better: Not talking to her shrink. Not playing rock music with her best friend Dooley. Not even listening to her mother's old familiar Beatles albums. It is not until Star finds an unsent letter addressed to John Lennon and a broken-down vintage Gibson guitar that she begins… See more details below

Overview

Pamela Jean (a.k.a. Star) is sixteen when her mother dies, and nothing seems to make her feel better: Not talking to her shrink. Not playing rock music with her best friend Dooley. Not even listening to her mother's old familiar Beatles albums. It is not until Star finds an unsent letter addressed to John Lennon and a broken-down vintage Gibson guitar that she begins to find a way out of her grief...and maybe even a way to take care of some unfinished business left by her mother. Written with frankness and compassion, Pepperland is an unforgettable story of loss and redemption.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Michele Winship
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, November 2004: It's the fall of 1980, and The Beatles are over but their legacy lives on. Star's mother loved The Beatles and passed both her passion and her musical talents on to her 16-year-old daughter, who jams on a vintage Fender Telecaster in the garage with her pal and bass player Dooley. Along one garage wall are the boxes of belongings her mother never unpacked when they moved, and now they are all that's left for Star since breast cancer took her mother and the music away. Star tries to deal with her loss along with her stepfather Syke, but the song she keeps trying to write, that she needs to write for her mother, stays bottled up inside where neither she nor her therapist can reach it. Part of her healing involves delivering a letter to John Lennon that her mother never sent; however, only after she finds her mother's battered Gibson in the garage rafters and seeks out Teri Seeger, the luthier who agrees to repair the guitar, does Star begin the daunting task of rebuilding the Gibson, and herself, from the inside out. Pepperland is the tender story of one young woman's journey through the grief of losing her mother to ultimately finding herself. The cast of characters is small but runs deep, and readers root for Star to deliver the letter at an upcoming concert, to recognize how her feelings for Dooley have changed, and to find the Gibson's chords and her own words immortalizing her mother in a song.
KLIATT
It's the fall of 1980, and the Beatles are over but their legacy lives on. Star's mother loved the Beatles and passed both her passion and her musical talents on to her 16-year-old daughter, who jams on a vintage Fender Telecaster in the garage with her pal and bass player Dooley. Along one garage wall are the boxes of belongings her mother never unpacked when they moved, and now they are all that's left for Star since breast cancer took her mother and the music away. Star tries to deal with her loss along with her stepfather Syke, but the song she keeps trying to write, that she needs to write for her mother, stays bottled up inside where neither she nor her therapist Dr. Artaud can reach it. Part of her healing involves delivering a letter to John Lennon that her mother never sent; however, only after she finds her mother's battered Gibson in the garage rafters and seeks out Teri Seeger, the luthier who agrees to repair the guitar, does Star begin the daunting task of rebuilding the Gibson, and herself, from the inside out. Pepperland is the tender story of one young woman's journey through the grief of losing her mother to ultimately finding herself. The cast of characters is small but runs deep, and readers root for Star to deliver the letter at an upcoming concert, to recognize how her feelings for Dooley have changed, and to find the Gibson's chords and her own words immortalizing her mother in a song. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2004, Peachtree, 184p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Michele Winship
VOYA
Star's mother has died, and as Star is cleaning out boxes in the garage, she comes across a fan letter to John Lennon tucked in the pages of her mother's yearbook. Memories spark a search for her mother's missing Gibson guitar, which she finds stashed away in rafters of the garage, broken and strings sagging. Star goes on a mission to repair the guitar and deliver her mother's letter to John Lennon. In the 1980s, before Lennon's untimely death, anything is possible. As she works through her grief, deals with the bullying of her best friend, and struggles to write a song for her mother, Star begins to slowly heal and come to the realization that, just like the old guitar, people also can be meticulously repaired with a great deal of hard work and true caring. Delaney's book will resonate with readers long after they put it down. Star's palpable grief and the love of those around her make it a real story about a teenaged girl who is struggling to accept and overcome the emptiness she feels. High school teacher Delaney is able to make Star and Dooley, her best friend, true-to-life people whom readers will recognize and care about. Teens-and those who can remember the 80s firsthand-will wallow in the nostalgic references. True guitar aficionados will appreciate the loving way in which Star helps to repair her mother's guitar, and Beatles fans will enjoy the fact that every chapter title is a Beatles' song title. Star's pain and healing sends a strong message, and Delaney is the perfect conduit. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Peachtree, 180p.,Ages 12 to 18.
—Lynn Evarts
Children's Literature
This is a coming-of-age book about a sixteen-year-old girl who loses her mother to breast cancer. The author immediately introduces us to Star, whose real name is Pamela Jean, and her therapist. The entire story is built around Star's mother's love of the Beatles, especially John Lennon. Star's mother played Beatles music when she was pregnant and throughout her life. These memories help Star understand her mother and no longer fear embracing her legacy. The story also chronicles Star's relationships with her very caring stepfather and her teenage friend Dooley. The author does a very good job of describing the various stages of Star's grief and enlightenment. She matures throughout the book and finds pieces of her mother's past that allow her to hold on to her memory and press into the future. It is a delightful story that shows the strength of sharing moments with the ones you love. 2004, Peachtree Publishers, Ages 12 up.
—Gilda R. Daniels
Star is a not-so-typical 16-year-old in the 1980s--she is dealing with the grief that comes with losing her mother, her best friend Dooley's mood swings/search for identity, her own search for her place in the world, and attending therapy sessions. When musician Star comes across her mother's old guitar in the attic, as well as a letter her mother wrote to John Lennon stuck in an old yearbook, she senses that something is about to happen in her life-- she wants something to happen. Delaney takes us on a tender and touching journey of a young girl coming to grips with life--and finds the courage to step up and take it by the (guitar) neck. I recommend this highly for older middle school and high school students. The trip back was great for me, too! 2004, Peachtree Press, 184 pp., Ages young adult.
—Nancy McFarlin
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Delaney's sensitive style and his development of realistic, multidimensional lead characters combine to create an absorbing story set in the early '80s. Star, 16, struggles to adjust to the death of her mother, who had loved '60s music and the Beatles in particular. Star, a guitarist, loves it as well. Her therapist suggests that she write a song about her mother, and throughout the book she tries to do so. When she finds her mother's guitar and a letter she wrote to John Lennon, they become the catalyst for Star to work through her anger and grief. She and her stepfather have a warm relationship, and they work together to deal with their mutual loss. While her friendship with Dooley, a talented artist, has been platonic, the relationship seems to be changing. When he is harassed at school and dubbed gay, she defends and supports him. Though the introduction of this plot twist is a bit jarring, it highlights the teen's loyalty and maturity. The homophobic bullies are stereotypical, and the woman who repairs her mother's guitar is conveniently generous, understanding, and nurturing, but this helps to move the plot along. The author shows how a love of art can help one cope with difficulties as he deftly balances the dual themes of dealing with tragic loss and with being different.-Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781561453177
Publisher:
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
10/28/2004
Pages:
184
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.78(h) x 0.78(d)
Lexile:
780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >