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Born to rock /

High school senior Leo Caraway, a conservative Republican, learns that his biological father is a punk rock legend. Full description

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Hyperion Books for Children, 2006
Edition: First edition.
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Leo Caraway, president of the Young Republicans Club and a future Harvard student, has his entire future planned. But Leo is soon thrown for a loop when he discovers that the lead singer of punk rock's most destructive band is his biological father.

Review by Booklist Review

Gr. 7-10. "There are two kinds of people in this world--those who have had a cavity search, and those who haven't. This is the story of how I wound up in the wrong category." After Young Republican Leo Caraway discovers that his biological father is none other than millionaire King Maggot, lead singer of the punk band Purge, he accepts a roadie job on King's tour in the hope of securing sorely needed college tuition. Soon, coke-snorting musicians and on-the-make agents are assaulting Leo's traditional values at every turn. Still, he manages to keep his cool, until he uncovers a shocking truth about his bio-dad that leaves him questioning every principle he holds dear. Leo's journey to punk-rock appreciation is a sharply observed, original take on the tired "outsider looking in" cliche. Though predictable at times and a little too clean (since when are there no expletives in punk?), Korman's rock opus redeems itself with smartly written dialogue and a slow-burning romance between Leo and his best friend, Melinda. --Jennifer Hubert Copyright 2006 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Every book should be this entertaining. Korman (No More Dead Dogs) hooks readers with a prologue in which Young Republican Leo Caraway teasingly relates that he's had firsthand experience of a "cavity search.... It has nothing to do with the dentist. If only it did." The set-up is brilliant because, as readers are about to learn, Leo is on the verge of graduating from high school with Least-Likely-to-Have-a-Cavity-Searched honors-early acceptance to Harvard and a full scholarship-until two wrenches are thrown into the works. He's accused of helping another student cheat on a test and, trolling the Internet, he learns the identity of his birth father. Leo loses his scholarship because of his ethics violation; Dad is none other than King Maggot, lead singer of Purge, the "punk rebel who defined `attitude' for an entire decade." Hoping those 25 million CDs and vinyl records Purge sold during its heyday means the King has the resources to finance an Ivy League education, Leo signs on as a roadie for his aging father's comeback tour. His mostly PG tour of duty keeps this suitable for middle school readers. What makes the book irresistible is its well-crafted plot, full of fate-reversing twists and bountiful humor. This one enters the chart with a bullet: it has the goods to go platinum. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Leo, a high school senior and "Mr. Republican," has received a scholarship to Harvard. However, after being accused of helping another student during a test, he looses the financial assistance which he must have to enroll. Although he was talking, he was not giving answers to the other student and stands up for himself. At about the same time, he learns that his biological father is really King Maggot, the leader of a popular punk rock band. Leo manages to get a job as a roadie with the band hoping to get King to pay his college tuition. That summer, he learns who his real friends are and much more about himself. Billy Hammond becomes Leo, reading the first person narrative in the novel by Gordon Korman (Hyperion, 2006) at a lively pace and with plenty of emotion. He employs some voice changes to reflect the other characters. Teens will relate to the informal dialogue and enjoy eavesdropping on Leo as he reflects. Sound effects play a key role in this recording and are sure to please listeners. Short interludes of punk music are played frequently. There are noises of crowds, emails are read with an echo, and phone conversations sound realistic. An excellent choice.-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gordon Korman was born in Montreal, Canada on October 23, 1963. When his 7th-grade English teacher told the class they could have 45 minutes a day for four months to work on a story of their choice, Korman began This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall. He was also the class monitor for the Scholastic TAB Book Club, so he sent his novel to the address on the TAB flyer, and a few days after his 14th birthday, he had a book contract with Scholastic.

By the time he graduated from high school, he had published five other novels and several articles for Canadian newspapers. He received a BFA degree from New York University with a major in Dramatic Writing and a minor in Film and TV. He has written over 75 books for children and young adults including the Swindle series, The Juvie Three, and two books of poetry written by the fictional character Jeremy Bloom.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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