Books, Gardens, Dogs
My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock Star - Joyce Raskin, Carol Chu Alex, a fourteen year old, has self esteem issues that most girls this age share: she thinks she is ugly, not very smart and she daydreams about boys all of the time. Her brother suggests she take up the bass to be in a rock band and through music she finds her true self. She learns that she has to keep her nails short, deal with groupies, hours of practice and acquires her own unique style. A majority of the book deals with saying "no" to the temptations that kids this age fall prey to such as drugs and sex. The books deals honestly with these issues and more. While playing in one band, a member is cornered in a bathroom and sexually assaulted. The assault is not graphically detailed but the aftermath is dealt with honesty and tenderness. I loved the ongoing discussion about the subculture of "straight edge" where kids adopt a lifestyle of no drugs. This book is such a strong, positive story for younger teens. My niece (15 and a reluctant reader) read a few chapters of it and declared it "real, this is how real kids my age talk". She really wanted a copy of her own when it is released. Alex is truly the perfect character to portray the hopes and dreams of young teens everywhere. She is smart, funny and doubts herself all at the same time. The author did a wonderful job of making this book appeal exactly to the audience that needs to be reached the most: young teens and tweens who are just about to make life choices and need to have a positive role model. The end of the book also has a primer on how to play guitar and start your own band.

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