Friday, October 22, 2010

Guy Friday-- Rock and Roll

There are a few students in middle school who play guitars and are interested in forming their own rock bands. I even helped name an Emo band once; Vitriol. When it comes to books, however, it's really hard to find books involving the world of rock and roll that are appropriate. The books tend to be more for high school students and often involve drugs and creative use of vocabulary.

One big problem with these books is that styles change so quickly. Korman's Born to Rock (2006) is holding on, mainly because the baby-with-a-mohawk cover is kind of silly. Jan Page's Rewind (2004) involves rock in two different time periods, so is still okay, but appeals more to fantasy fans who want to read about time travel. Chris Lynch's Scratch and the Sniffs (1997) is so dated that no one will touch it, and the Provost's Popcorn (1986), while a fabulous look at how rock bands actually form, is something that no self respecting, black-clad 8th grader would be caught dead in a closet with.

Gilbert, Sara. Play it Loud: The Rebellious History of Rock and Roll.
Copy received from Compass Point Books

It's also somewhat difficult to find nonfiction books. I'm sure that discard piles everywhere are littered with 20 year old biographies of now obscure bands. Wouldn't buy a Justin Bieber biography if you paid me.

This is why Play it Loud is such a nice book-- it introduces brief clips of information about a variety of acts that represent different historical developments in rock. I just wish the book were a little longer, because it was fascinating. I had no idea that, because of his Nazi connections, Wagner's music is banned in Israel.

This book will go out frequently, along with the Dorling Kindersley Guitar: Music, History, Players book.

Anyone have any great ideas for books aimed at middle school boys interested in rock and roll?

1 comment:

  1. You must check out The Secret Life of Ms Finkleman -

    You can't tell by the cover but the main male character loves playing guitar.

    Check out my review. I shared a few of the good music lines.