Posts Tagged 'protest'

Gordon Ryder’s Blues by Jeff Dee

Genre:  Historical fiction

# of Pages:  165

RAC Book:  No

Gordon Ryder is navigating his junior year in high school during the year 1969.  His father has recently moved out and his mother has responded by being extremely overprotective.  When he meets a confident, attractive hippie he decides to get to know her better.  Myra invites him to a walkout and then a rally and he thinks it’s a good idea to show his disapproval of the war, especially since his best friend lost a brother to it.  The book reads as an adventure story that primarily happens in one day, so many things are not resolved at the end of the night.  Will his parents reconcile?  How will his best friend cope with the loss of his brother?  Will he ever get together with Myra?

The setting of this story is unique and many students will identify with the ideas and beliefs of the time depicted.  The characters are interesting, but it’s difficult to get to know them when the entire story takes place in one day.  The relationships between Gordon’s parents, Gordon and his mother, and Gordon and his friends are all relatable to teens of any age.  The setting of the story will be enough to entice many readers to pick this one up.

Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 13 and up

# of Pages: 338 p.

RAC Book: Yes

Written as an inside story about the famous music group Lemonade Mouth, this book follows the five bandmates and tells the story of how Lemonade Mouth came to be. Wen, Charlie, Mo, Stella, and Olivia were all thrown into detention one fateful day and the idea of a band started to take shape. As they begin to meet after school in the music room, which is located in the dingy basement, they start to realize that anyone who has activities located in this portion of the building (including A-V, choir, band, etc.) start to become labeled as freaks in the high school. Life gets more difficult for them when they get equal playing time to the popular high school band, Mudslide Crush. The members of that band resent having to share school functions and plan to make life difficult for this group of freshmen. Despite all the difficulties, however, Lemonade Mouth soon gains unprecedented popularity and they try to use that popularity toward promoting causes they believe are important.

This story was a surprisingly fun book to read. The idea that five virtual strangers, who often feel like they do not fit in anywhere, can come together and touch the lives of so many of their classmates is inspiring. Their road to success is difficult and often plagued with strife, but they keep trying even when things look hopeless. The main characters all have personal issues to deal with as they navigate high school, but never stop trying to make their way through that difficult time. Over time they realize they do not need to try so hard to survive the pressures and trials of high school when they have each other to lean on. This is a fun, entertaining, and many times surprising book that most readers will really enjoy.