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Songs for a Teenage Nomad Paperback – Bargain Price, September 1, 2010

58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8-10–All her life, 15-year-old Calle and her mother have moved from town to town as her mother has moved from relationship to relationship. The only constant in the teen's life is music and the song journal she keeps to write down her thoughts and the memories inspired by tunes she was listening to at different points in her life. Calle has always kept to herself, never forming attachments, but in the northern California town of Andreas Bay, she finds herself making friends and feeling the first stirrings of love for Sam, a boy with secrets of his own. When she accidentally finds an old letter addressed to her from her father, a man who abandoned Calle and her mom when she was a baby, she begins to question everything her mother has told her about the past. Wrestling with these thoughts, the normal highs and lows of high school, and her developing feelings for Sam are enough to send the surprisingly stable teen into an emotional tailspin. She struggles to understand and balance her past and present, and find just where she fits in. This is an appealing, well-written book, and Culbertson captures the rhythms of teen life with realistically developed characters. Calle is smart, likable and genuine, and readers will root for her.Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

""Immediately I was sucked into Calle's head, her music, her story and her voice... I was literally in tears at the end... Read this book if you want something real; if you want it to touch the center of your heart and blossom... If you just want to read a damn good book."" - Lit Bites

""This is Culbertson's first novel and like a mixed tape you play over and over, you can fall into the words and lose yourself in their grip."" - Bri Meets Books

""This novel deftly explores the search for identity that all teens experience, and adds the challenge of finding out who you are when there are obstacles in the way."" - Ms. Yingling Reads

""The use of songs and lyrics to guide the story creates a new rhythm in each chapter."" - Spot to Read

""Both music and words flow beautifully throughout Songs for a Teenage Nomad, written by Kim Culbertson. The songs lead the reader into the story linking the past to the present and in so doing, build a fragile connection between a mother and a daughter. I'm fourteen and my Mom is thirty-nine and we both loved it! We can't wait for her next book!"" - Mother Daughter Book Club

""Wow. This book was just...fantastic. Fexcellent, fawesome, and every other good adjective that starts with 'f.'"" - Frenetic Reader

""I seldom review books for young adults but recently read a YA novel that's so good it had to be shared. Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson [is]... so beautifully written I couldn't resist telling you about it. The plot is exciting, the characters are realistic, and the writing is beautiful and poetic. I highly recommend this book for teens who like to read."" - On Words

""It's an unforgettable story that music lovers in particular will appreciate, but every teenager trying to find their place in the world should read because they will definitely relate to Calle."" - Life, Words, & Rock 'n' Roll --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire; Reprint edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402243014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402243011
  • ASIN: B006J404J8
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,732,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kim Culbertson technically writes for teenagers, but some grown-ups like her work. Sourcebooks Fire published her first YA novel Songs for a Teenage Nomad (2010) and her second Instructions for a Broken Heart (2011), which was named a Booklist Top Ten Romance Title for Youth: 2011 and won the 2012 Northern California Book Award for YA Fiction. Her third YA novel Catch a Falling Star will be published by Scholastic. When she's not writing for teens, she's teaching them. She's a college advisor and teaches creative writing and English in Northern California. Kim wrote her eBook novella The Liberation of Max McTrue for her students who, over the years, have taught her much more than she has taught them.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. Dixon on September 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
It was refreshing to read a "smart" young adult novel with some real humor and depth of character versus the typical teenage fluff. I read the first chapter and was quickly drawn into Calle's story. This is a book that I would have loved as a teenager, but enjoyed every bit as much as an adult. Culbertson really gets teens and the difficult dynamics of high school. Her characters are so REAL. Calle is a very complex and believable individual; troubled, smart, and witty. She has a quiet strength and sense of self about her that I find admirable. Being a music fan and a child of the 80's, I loved the song titles of each chapter and the associated memories that Calle would write in her journal. I think many of us have those songs we hear that take us back to another place and time........
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ray on November 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Kim Culbertson's book was absolutely fantastic! It's beautifully written, with thought provoking passages that make you laugh, wonder, and cry. Calle's journey to figure out her life, herself, plus making some great new friends on the way is an excellent reflection that we can all relate too. I loved this book because I understand what Calle is going through-I have been there, and at times I feel that this book is describing me. Filled with music and memories, you are sucked in. I couldn't stop reading! Calle learns to deal with her turbulent life, the people around her, and a past she has never had a chance to face. This book is one to be read again and again. Eloquent and filled with truth, this is a story that will stay with you forever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah VINE VOICE on September 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was absolutely beautiful to read. I found myself completely engrossed in Calle's story as soon as I started reading. It was like discovering a new song and you can't stop listening to it for several days because you feel as if it is perfect for you. Calle's story was just that. I could not stop reading as I wanted to find out more and more about Calle's life. She starts off the story being a loner and the new girl but soon finds herself being able to settle down, something she's never really been able to do in the past. As the story continues, we learn more about Calle's life as a nomad, never being able to stay in one place. There's teen angst, mystery, romance, and parental issues: all elements that make this story flow together.

While reading, I would find myself getting angry at Calle's mother. I could not understand her wandering-ness and thought at first it was because she was selfish and not thinking about Calle at all. I thought at first she was one of those mothers who are not really fit to be a mother. I kept getting bothered because Calle would ask her questions about her father and her past and wouldn't tell her anything. It wasn't until the end of the story when everything was finally revealed that I finally understood Calle's mother intentions. While they may not have been the best or smartest plans, she did it to protect her daughter because she loved her.

This book proves why I love contemporary YA fiction. The story is beautiful and the author is able to allow Calle to really speak throughout the book. I loved the entries from Calle's journal that begins each chapter. Even though the story is already in first person from Calle's point of view, the journal entries really allow the reader to get into her head.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on February 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Music has a great effect on listeners. It can lift you up when you feel depressed or help to heal a broken heart. For Calle it is more than that. Music is her home and her memories. Music is the tie to the father that she's never known and the memories of all of the places she has lived.

Calle moved to Andreas Bay after her mom remarried (again) and threw a penny onto a map of California. Unlike all of their other moves, Calle finds a place in Andreas Bay. She makes friends, joins theatre, and meets a boy that she really likes. Of course, like a great song, her life is complicated. Calle is getting closer and closer to finding her father, and does not understand why her mother will not give her any information about him or why she is keeping her from him.

SONGS FOR A TEENAGE NOMAD is a wonderful book. It is a high school classic reminiscent of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, only it is more appropriate for a slightly younger audience. Calle is a wonderful character and, as the reader, you want her to succeed in all areas of her life. You cry when she cries and laugh when she laughs. You ask the same questions and try to find the answers. Who is Calle's father? Why doesn't she see him? Why doesn't he want to see her? Is there something we don't know?

The most unusual part of this book is that it has a great soundtrack. You are able to listen along with Calle, giving more dimension to her character and the book. The end of the story comes quickly, but it does not take away from the enjoyment of the reading. While some of the story lines are neatly tied up, others are not, which makes the story feel very real. This is a novel that you will want to experience over and over again, just like a great song.

Reviewed by: Becca Boland
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