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My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock Star Paperback – June 13, 2011

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Yay, Alex! Girls must rock like never before, and here's the guide for a new generation of young girls. Rock on!"—Exene Cervenka of the band X

"Alex is a great and complex girl (as we all are). She is strong and sensitive, brave and nervous, giddy and gritty, wise and young. And she rocks! Literally and figuratively. This is a true-feeling story about the power of picking up a guitar or some drumsticks, making some noise, and finding your voice. This is how it feels."—Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses, The Breeders, Belly, and the Tanya Donelly Band

"I love this book. I only wish I could have been able to read it when I was 14 and getting into music."— Mary Timony of The Mary Timony Band, Wild Flag, and Helium

"When I was a young teenager trying to learn how to play guitar and start a band I felt very alone. Girls today can turn to this book when they need some sisterly solidarity and guidance."—Juliana Hatfield of The Blake Babies, Juliana Hatfield Three, and Juliana Hatfield

"[Joyce] continues to be a remarkable female roll model in my life and I am so excited to know she will influence and inspire hundreds if not thousands of more girls from a whole new generation. Truly awesome stuff."—Lightning's Girl, blogger

" . . . Chu’s doodles and Raskin’s concluding personal experiences, as well as tips on playing the guitar and writing song lyrics, will strike just the right chord."—Booklist

About the Author

Joyce Raskin started playing guitar and bass when she was a young teen. She continued playing and, after graduating from RISD, joined the rock band Scarce. Ten years later, Joyce self-published a book about her experiences in the band entitled Aching to Be. She has since gone on to become a designer of children's books. She lives in Braintree, MA, with her family.

Check out more about Joyce and Scarce on Facebook/teenrockstar.

Carol hails originally from Tennessee, and from a very young age, made "I'm moving to New York" her battle cry. She has a degree in journalism and a master's in design and has worked at TeenPeople, InStyle, Redbook, and Lucky. Currently, Carol is an art director and she designs books of all sorts.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Original edition (June 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547393113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547393117
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,120,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deb Nam-Krane VINE VOICE on June 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This short, easy to read book is about a fourteen year old girl who, through the power of music, changes from an insecure young girl trying to figure out how to be desirable and popular to a strong, confident young woman who realizes that she can find happiness by being herself.

Is that a lot of middle grade and young adult books? Maybe, but this has a feminist edge. The challenge is not learning the bass guitar- Alex picks that up after a few (tearful) lessons and finds success playing in two bands. She has to learn quickly to be careful what she wishes for: the boyfriends she pined for turn out to be unfaithful stoners, and the fame and attention she craved as a musician turn out to have a dark side she could not have imagined. What's inspiring about the character is that once she finds strong, slighter older female role models, she does indeed figure out that she doesn't need boys to make her happy and she doesn't have to tolerate mistreatment, whether it's being called a "Betty" at a skate park or being talked down to by a guitar salesman. And while she first finds happiness by putting on the identity as a musician, by the end of the book she's still a strong, young woman even when she has to put that down. I love that message: you don't have to find an identity and stick with it.

I loved the guitar primer at the end of the book. My tween has been playing the guitar for about a year, but some of the information is still useful to her.

Recommended for 11 year olds and older.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary Bookhounds VINE VOICE on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Alex, a fourteen year old, has self esteem issues that most girls this age share: she thinks she is ugly, not very smart and she daydreams about boys all of the time. Her brother suggests she take up the bass to be in a rock band and through music she finds her true self. She learns that she has to keep her nails short, deal with groupies, hours of practice and acquires her own unique style. A majority of the book deals with saying "no" to the temptations that kids this age fall prey to such as drugs and sex. The books deals honestly with these issues and more. While playing in one band, a member is cornered in a bathroom and sexually assaulted. The assault is not graphically detailed but the aftermath is dealt with honesty and tenderness. I loved the ongoing discussion about the subculture of "straight edge" where kids adopt a lifestyle of no drugs.

This book is such a strong, positive story for younger teens. My niece (15 and a reluctant reader) read a few chapters of it and declared it "real, this is how real kids my age talk". She really wanted a copy of her own when it is released. Alex is truly the perfect character to portray the hopes and dreams of young teens everywhere. She is smart, funny and doubts herself all at the same time. The author did a wonderful job of making this book appeal exactly to the audience that needs to be reached the most: young teens and tweens who are just about to make life choices and need to have a positive role model. The end of the book also has a primer on how to play guitar and start your own band.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kris on June 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Alex is a fourteen-year-old girl with a great sense of humor. Sure, she's a rock star, but she hasn't always been as self-confident as she is by the time she decides to tell her story. She's gone through a couple boyfriends, dealt with druggie peers, and got a bunch of blisters learning to play the guitar. Tweens will be able to relate to Alex's desire for independence, her concerns for her outside appearance, and her need to express herself as an individual.

Things I liked about the book: The title is catchy as is the cover image. I loved the chapter titles. The doodles are cute and fit in with the diary-tone underlying the novel. Pictures that we can assume come from Alex's diary (spread out over the course of the novel) and a series of lessons on how to play the guitar (in the back of the book) add some fun elements to the book. Best of all, there are poems, which tie into Alex's rock-star character.

My Misadventures as a Teenage Rock Star explores peer pressure and self-acceptance. I enjoyed watching Alex grow from a self-conscious girl to a self-assured teenager. If you're looking for a fun, light-hearted read filled with teen angst and a bunch of laughs, this is a great book to check out!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Kristin Anderson on December 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
This great new tween novel from Joyce Raskin is a refreshing YA debut for all the girls out there who would rather rock along than passively listen. (Or maybe also for the girls who want to read about the rock life, the punk life, the straight edge life. Those girls would like this book, too.)

MY MISADVENTURES AS A TEENAGE ROCK STAR is written by a woman who knows rock-n-roll. Joyce has been in bands, has rocked along with the boys, and even includes a section at the back of the book on learning to play guitar and writing lyrics.

But, more importantly, MISADVENTURES s the story of Alex, a girl who doesn't fit in, who isn't cool, and who more than anything just wants to kiss her crush. That is, until her brother's friend asks her if she wants to learn bass and be in his band. Turns out, Alex is a natural, and it's not long before she's light her local scene on fire with her seriously rockin' skills. Told in a series of vignettes, we follow Alex as she learns about having to rock twice as hard as the boys, as she adopts the straight edge (no drugs, no alcohol) lifestyle, as she both falls for and dumps her first boyfriend, and as she makes the friends she never really had at her school. We also see her rise to success -- success that she finds just by being who she is and working her butt off.

While you will probably find this book shelved in your teen section, I think plenty of tweens (11-13) will enjoy it as well, and in fact are its target audience. Yes, the book references swears, sex, and drugs -- but its voice is quite young (Alex is barely 14 for most of the book) and it is full of positive messages for young girls. The sparse text and fun illustrations make also make MISADVENTURES a perfect book for reluctant readers.
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