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Somebody Everybody Listens To Hardcover – May 13, 2010

10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up–You don't have to be a fan of country music to fall in love with Retta Lee Jones and her inspiring quest to be a country singer. Supplee avoids the oversentimental star-crush often typical of wannabe stories by creating honest characters one might meet in any hometown: anxious parents, stranger turned guardian angel, boy-next-door, fun best friend, young men and women chasing dreams. After graduating high school, Retta Lee stakes everything she has on moving to Nashville to break into the music business. Each step forward, however, seems to take her two steps back–back toward a sad family life and the boy she had a crush. Moving forward toward her dream becomes elusive after her fragile support system falls apart through no fault of her own. But Retta Lee doesn't give up. She reminds herself of the country artists she's admired all her life and takes inspiration from their trials and tribulations and eventual success. Supplee opens each well-paced chapter with a brief profile of popular singers, providing continuity and interesting tidbits about the royals of country music. Retta Lee's innate kindheartedness; her aspirations in a highly competitive field, always tempered with good old commonsense; and her burgeoning talent make her an immensely likable and believable character who steadfastly follows her dreams in a world often inured to such high hopes.Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

After graduating from high school in a small Tennessee town, Retta dreams of making it to Nashville and becoming a country music star. But even with her beautiful voice, how can she get there? And who will listen? How can she leave her parents, who barely speak to each other? Retta does make it to Nashville, though, and she sleeps in her car; works a day job; and finds kindness, friendship, and good luck, as well as violence and cruelty. Country music fans will grab this for the details of the steel guitars, banjos, and fiddles and the legendary landmarks; at the start of each chapter, there is a page-long bio of a famous star, from Dolly Parton to Johnny Cash, that discusses the musicians' hardscrabble lives and successes. Retta's personal story is filled with classic young-adult conflicts. Should she go back and help Daddy after Mama leaves? The beautiful song she writes about the push and pull of home has a message every teen can relate to: “Just me in the middle, wondering who I should love.“ Grades 8-11. --Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780525422426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525422426
  • ASIN: 0525422420
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author




Suzanne Supplee is the author of When Irish Guys Are Smiling, a Students Across the Seven Seas series book, Artichoke's Heart, and Somebody Everybody Listens To. Currently, she is working on her fourth young adult novel.

Suzanne is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, and she earned a masters degree in creative writing from Towson University in Maryland. For a number of years, she has worked as both a teacher and a writer.

Suzanne is married and has three daughters. Her favorite hobbies include exercise (when it's over), reading, reading, and more reading, and gardening. You can visit her at suzannesupplee.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Jensen (STACKED Books blog) on August 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Retta Lee Jones has a dream to leave her small town in Tennessee and make it big as a country music singer down in Nashville. Now that she's graduated high school and her friends are going to be going to colleges out of town, she knows it'll be harder being the only one to stay. But with the nudging of her good friends, she decides to take the $500ish dollars she has saved up from working at the diner and use it to strike out on her own in the big city of country music. She has a voice, but will she have the will power?

With a little help from the local grump, she borrows a beat down car and makes the trip with promises to be back in September if things didn't work out. But when she runs into a little car trouble, Ricky Dean saves her with his mechanic skills and puts her to work as his secretary so she can make a little money. A gig at a local hotel and doing open mics at the Mockingbird Cafe, though, might be the recipe for seeing her name in the big lights sooner than Retta'd ever imagined.

Somebody Everybody Listens To is a sweet story about perseverance and about growing up. Retta is a fun lead character in this story, and she is 100% authentic as both a teenager, a dreamer, and a southern girl. The book is chock full of allusions and stories about country music legends, as each chapter opens with a small biography of a well-known country star, when and where they were born, their road to fame, their first jobs, and something significant that happened in their personal lives. This mimics exactly how the story works out for Retta: we know when and where Retta is born, and as the story progresses, we see how she gets her first big break, and then we discover some of the big road bumps that jostle her.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another charmer full of good life lessons from Suzanne Supplee. Her books are exactly what young people need to be reading...overcoming fears, working hard and chasing your dreams all the while having a good laugh and a few tears. No matter how high the mountain may seem Retta achieves her dreams through focus, hard work and patience. A cast of endearing, colorful characters are brought to life by Suzanne's beautiful writing.
Somebody Everybody Listens To
Enjoyable, fun, fast read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Somebody Everybody Listens To" is a book that inspires the dreamer in all of us. It is a quick read, full of fun and interesting characters, whose voices can be heard loud and clear in the dialogue.
Dolly Parton gave a nice acknowledgement to this book on the back cover, and I definitely agree with Dolly! It is a great story, and the Retta definitely has a pair of really cool boots!
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book for my book club and really enjoyed it, it was so quick and funny and interesting. It's about a girl named Retta who moves to Nashville to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter. Recently I've been writing my own songs, so I re-read this book. It's a fantastic book and I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in a career in music, or just loves a good book!
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By Rebecca Minzlaff on August 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am absolutely thrilled with this book. I read it when I was still in high school and I was thrilled to get the chance to own it.
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