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All Shook Up Hardcover – May 13, 2008

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–8—Josh Greenwood, 13, lives with his mom in Boston, but he is shipped off to his dad in Chicago when she has to go to Florida to care for her mother. Once there, he discovers that his shoe-salesman father has lost his job and is now an Elvis impersonator. Dad's new girlfriend owns a vintage clothing shop and her daughter, Ivory, wears outfits that are wacky mismatched blasts from the past, and she has a boyfriend who wears a dog collar. "Hard" does not even begin to cover Josh's feelings about his new life. Of course, in true middle schooler fashion, he is unable to see anything except how this situation affects him. His potential for humiliation and embarrassment are central to his character and lead to an explosive division between him and his father. Through a wonderful and believable process of discovery orchestrated partially by Ivory and her mom, father and son come to understand one another. Pearsall has given Josh an authentic voice, and his first-person narrative is engaging throughout.—Genevieve Gallagher, Murray Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A child of divorce, 13-year-old Josh wryly calls himself a shared kid, meaning he spends a lot of time shuttling between his parents, who live half a continent apart. Arriving in Chicago to spend more than the usual amount of time with his dad (it’s complicated), he finds that his free-spirited father has become an Elvis impersonator. Worse, Dad’s new girlfriend has a hippie daughter, Ivory, who is Josh’s age and (a) knows the awful truth about Dad and (b) takes a likin’ to Josh. Terrified that the kids at his new school will learn about Dad, Josh tries to distance himself from Ivory—and from his well-meaning father. Pearsall’s premise is clever, but the execution is more than a tad predictable. Nevertheless, some funny moments, some offbeat characters, and some elements of suspense (Will Dad’s identity be revealed? Will Elvis leave the building?) will keep most readers engaged. Grades 5-8. --Michael Cart
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 890L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Young Hoosier Middle Awards 2010-2011
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (May 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375836985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375836985
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,931,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Shelley Pearsall grew up in the blue-collar Cleveland suburb of Parma where she began writing stories in her bedroom closet as a child. She sent her first story to a New York publishing house at the age of thirteen. Although the manuscript was never published, its themes of survival and freedom ultimately became the inspiration for Pearsall's first published novel, TROUBLE DON'T LAST, written twenty years later.

In 2003, TROUBLE DON'T LAST received the prestigious Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction among other honors. Pearsall's first contemporary novel ALL OF THE ABOVE was a 2007 ALA Notable book. Her books have received starred reviews and have been named Booklist Editor's Choice, New York Public Library Top 100, VOYA Top Shelf, Junior Library Guild, and have been nominated for numerous state reading award lists. In 2005, Pearsall was the Children's Writer-in-Residence for the James Thurber House.
Before becoming a full-time author, Shelley Pearsall was an intermediate and middle school teacher. She has also tried many unusual jobs over the years, including a Revolutionary War shipwreck archaeology project, working in an 18th century shoemaker shop in Colonial Williamsburg, and performing Great Lakes stories on an ore boat. Although she no longer works as a classroom teacher, she is a frequent guest author in elementary and middle schools where she does presentations and leads writing workshops on everything from Elvis to shoes.
Shelley Pearsall lives in Silver Lake, Ohio with her husband Mike, stepson Ethan, and a senior-citizen cat named Marbles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marcia Lindberg on September 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Pearsall takes on the bane of all teens: a parent who embarrasses you! Hey, it doesn't get any worse than a semi-normal dad changing careers to become an Elvis impersonator. You can't help cracking up (and being glad it's not you) as Josh--the main character--has to deal with everything from his dad's new sideburns to his "gigs" around town while Josh is trying to fit in at a new school. Other interesting characters abound in this book from bizarro chic Ivory (possible girlfriend?) to dog collar-wearing Digger to old lady neighbor Gladys--all who want to befriend Josh as he desperately tries not to draw attention to himself! The book is a fast and good read--I think of Deliver Us from Normal by Kate Klise or Al Capone Does My Shirts by Choldenko as comparable books. It's funny, sometimes painful to read as Josh tries to cope, and ultimately rewarding in the end (I won't tell--you'll have to read it yourself!)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Larkin on May 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
[...]

You have probably heard the superstition before that 13 is an unlucky number. Most people, like me, think this is crazy, but for 13-year-old Josh in All Shook Up it isn't. When Josh turns 13 his Grandma, who lives in Florida, breaks her hip by falling down the stairs and he has to move to his dad's house in Chicago for four whole months. Why? Because his mom decides to go live with his grandma in Florida until her ribs are healed. Josh isn't allowed to go with his mom because the schools near his grandma aren't all that great. When he arrives at his dad's house he finds out that his dad had turned into Elvis, side burns and all. This isn't even the worst part, Josh's dad has a girlfriend who has a daughter named Ivory and they both dress like they are living in the 60's! As if all of this isn't enough, Josh's dad wants to perform at his new school for the 50's concert. This causes a major problem for Josh because he is finally starting to become popular at school and, if anyone knows that Josh's dad is an Elvis impersonator, then no one will want to be his friend and he will have to sit at the garbage can seats at lunch. The garbage can seats are for losers who have no friends. Will Josh come up with a way to scheme his dad into not going or will he be embarrassed in front of the whole school?

All Shook Up was the funniest book I have ever read. The author added so much detail that at times you felt like you were in the book and actually knew Josh. At some points in the book I wanted to yell at Josh and tell him what to do. After reading this book, it made me realize that what my parents do to me in public that is sometimes embarrassing is nothing. It could be a lot worse. After reading All Shook Up you are sure to feel the same way. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves reading suspenseful books with a pinch of humor. This book definitely deserves a five out of five!
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Format: Paperback
When his grandmother is injured, 13-year old, Josh's mom leaves to assist, and he is sent to stay with his father in Chicago. He soon learns his recently divorced, shoe-selling, and balding, 40-something old father has become an Elvis impersonator! Shouldn't he tell his mom? And now that Josh has new friends (and girls) to impress at this new school isn't his reputation and image more important than his dad's weird mid-life crisis? Especially considering that Josh never got a vote in this shared custody his parents decided upon. Even worse, his Dad may be dating! Ugh!
This book is a bit long at 261 pages, but is worth reading to completion to find out how Josh dealt with his problem.
Topics: divorce; financial problems; entertainment; fathers and sons; parent/ teen conflicts; appearance and social standing; empathy; and selfishness.
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By Meduck on December 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this book for my daughter. She specifically asked for it, was reading it and had to return it to the library. Fast delivery and very happy with purchase.
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By Matt S. on May 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked it a lot, great story. Bought additional books from this author. A great read from teenage to adult.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 21, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Josh is an idiot. He complains, and complains about a problem but whenever he has a chance to fix it, he dosn't. His he planing on the problem just magicly fixing itself, because it is not.
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