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Told in a voice that’s honest, urgent, and hilarious, Struts & Frets will resonate not only with teenage musicians but with anyone who ever sat up all night listening to a favorite album, wondering if they’d ever find their place in the world.
Music is in Sammy’s blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammy’s indie rock band could be huge one day―if they don’t self-destruct first. Winning the upcoming Battle of the Bands would justify all the band’s compromises and reassure Sammy that his life’s dream could become a reality. But practices are hard to schedule when Sammy’s grandfather is sick and getting worse, his mother is too busy to help either of them, and his best friend may want to be his girlfriend.
When everything in Sammy’s life seems to be headed for major catastrophe, will his music be enough to keep him together?
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Jon Skovron is a music geek who can play nine instruments, but none of them well. This is his first novel. In his spare time, he writes technical manuals and tries to forget about his sordid past as an actor. He lives with his wife and two kids outside Washington, D.C. To learn more about him, the book, or the music, visit him at www.strutsandfretsbook.com.From School Library Journal:
Grade 9 Up—Music is the center of Sammy Bojar's world, despite his therapist mother's urging that he pursue a more profitable career and stable lifestyle. Though he is now sinking into dementia, Sammy's grandfather, a jazz musician, is still able to encourage his grandson to follow his dream: "You're like me.... Always reaching for the moon." When Sammy's band decides to enter a competition that could result in a chance to record in a real studio, he fluctuates between his extravagant dreams of rock-star fame and his nagging fear that the group is far from ready to perform. Meanwhile, he struggles with the realization that a longtime friend wants to be his girlfriend. When it becomes clear that their romance is about to become more physical, Jen5 responsibly blurts out a reminder not to "forget to...uh...go to the drugstore before you come over." The resulting hilarious scene in which Sammy is utterly baffled by the vast variety of condoms on display is just one of the narrative's many entertaining depictions of the turmoil of growing up. A playlist identifies the songs mentioned in the text, while a classroom scene in which Sammy's teacher reads aloud from Macbeth makes the origin of the book's title clear. This debut novel will find an audience not just with music fans, but also with those who appreciate a good coming-of-age story.—Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA
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