Couple of people had questions about the age level on the following title-- I think that any fans of Tashjian's other books will like For What It's Worth. I don't remember anything inappropriate, but the in depth descriptions of the 1960s California rock scene will make it appeal to 7th grade and up.
Tashjian, Janet. For What It's Worth.
1 July 2012, Henry Holt and Company (BYR)
It's 1971, and Quinn, who is living in Southern California, is hugely enamored of the music scene there. His mother is friends with Cass Elliott, Frank Zappa hires him to do musical transcription, and he and his friends are working on getting a band of their own together. But things are complicated. A girl from the East Coast, Caroline, moves to town, and even though she's a little weird with his pleated skirts and blouses, Quinn likes her. Are they or aren't they boyfriend/girlfriend? His sister Soosie goes off to college, but sends a draft dodging friend to get Quinn's help. What's going on with his parents? Whatever is going on in his life, music is a constant companion, the backdrop to his days, and the obsession that takes all of his money. But is music really the most important thing? When Quinn realizes how horrible the war in Vietnam is becoming, he must decide which is more important-- his music, or helping someone avoid the draft.
Strengths: The research involved in the music portion of this book must have been intense. Even though Tashjian would have been a contemporary of Quinn, there is so much detail about the interworkings of musicians and bands that some serious research was done. The story with Quinn and Caroline was my favorite part, and the historical setting added another level of interest. I have a student who read all three The Gospel According to Larry books in a week who will like this, although I don't know if Larry and Quinn would have been friends.
Weaknesses: The book really needed a CD with it. I could easily have spent hours looking up the obscure bands mentioned, but I restrained myself. The wealth of detail might be too much for the casual reader who is not interested in "old" music.