All Shook Up: A Novel

All Shook Up: A Novel
Age Range
Release Date
September 10, 2024
Buy This Book
This YA debut speaks to the continued interest in the teen culture of the 1950s—Elvis Presley, teenage rebellion—with a young girl embarking on adventure and music, ultimately uncovering family secrets.

Being fourteen is especially hard in 1956, when the world is changing around you. Honor student Paula Levy was born into a family of historical victims: her mother’s youth was lost in the Depression and her father’s was destroyed in the Holocaust, an as-yet-unnamed event about which no one speaks. But Paula has heard the new music taking hold of the nation—rock and roll—and it has given her hope. And she has two friends to get her through life’s ups and downs: Holden Caulfield, hero of Catcher in the Rye, who shares her view of the world, and Barbara, a “cool” girl in her high school who unexpectedly shares Paula’s view of Holden.

Paula’s mother is not a fan of Barbara, and she prohibits her daughter from associating with her. Paula manages to get around her mother’s rule and see Barbara anyway—but when Paula asks the wrong questions about her father’s past and Barbara is caught with her “boyfriend,” their private world of Holden, rock, and Elvis Presley crumbles. Angry with the adults in their lives, the two girls run away to find Barbara’s real father, a jazz musician. Disappointingly, he does not live in a mansion or socialize with Elvis—but Paula and Barbara may find something even better.

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