Sorta Like a Rock Star

 
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Age Range
12+
ISBN
0316043524
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The Princess of Hope
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4.0
Plot 
 
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Amber Appleton is seventeen years old and living in Hello Yellow (her name for the school bus her mother drives) with Bobby Big Boy (aka BBB, Triple B, B Thrice) and her mother, who is drunk most of the time and has gone through a litany of horrendous boyfriends. When we meet her, Amber is wearing &two pairs of sweatpants, three pairs of wool socks, two pairs of gloves, a big old hat that covers my freakishly little ears, and three jackets&, along with her poodle skirt because it is freezing out and there is no hat in Hello Yellow. Yet, unlike most of us living in similar circumstances, shes happy, hopeful and thinking mostly of other people.

Amber is part of Franks Freak Force Federation, five school misfits who need work on their social skills. Other members include Ricky (autistic), Jared (a stutterer), Jareds brother Chad (confined to a wheelchair), and Ty (the only Black kid in the school). Mr. Franks, the marketing teacher, oversees this motley crew. His job is being considered for elimination by the school board, so the Federation is planning a protest.

Amber teaches English to The Korean Divas for Christ, a group of immigrant Korean women, who meet at Father Chees church. To make the lessons more fun, she teaches them English by singing songs made popular by the Supremes--words, music and moves.

Amber volunteers at the Methodist Retirement Home. But instead of listening to them talk about the old days, shes instituted the Wednesday Afternoon Battle Between Hope and Pessimism, hope represented by Amber and pessimism by Joan of Old, a mean, sad, resident. If Amber gets Joan of Old to smile first, she wins. If Joan of Old gets Amber to cry, she wins. Amber is the undefeated winner.

And finally, Amber has befriended Private Paul Jackson, a solitary Vietnam War veteran who spends his days writing Haiku.

Amber keeps the faith (shes Catholic) by praying to JC and doing good deeds&that is until her mother walks off the bus one night and doesnt return. Her brutalized body is found several days later. Now shes in a very low funk. Will she get that spark back?

Quick has populated Sorta Like a Rock Star with a quirky cast of characters; Door Woman Lucy, Old Man Thomson and Old Man Linder at the Methodist Home, Father Chee of the KDFC, Private Jackson, Donna (Rickys mother), Franks Freak Force Federation and mostly Joan of Old. They all have secrets. They all share Ambers hope, despite it being buried. They all share their love and concern for Amber.

Sorta Like a Rock Star is a book that makes you think What would I do if I were living Ambers life? Would you be a Prince or Princess of Hope? Amber is a person wed all like to know and maybe emulate. Have fun reading about her escapades and do a little soul searching at the same time.
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