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All Shook Up

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3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  640 ratings  ·  106 reviews
WHEN 13-YEAR-OLD JOSH finds out he has to stay with his dad in Chicago for a few months, he’s not too thrilled. But when he arrives at the airport, he’s simply devastated. His father—who used to be a scatterbrained, but pretty normal, shoe salesman—has become a sideburn-wearing, hip-twisting, utterly embarrassing Elvis impersonator. Josh is determined to keep his dad’s ide...more
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Published May 13th 2008 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Becky
Pearsall, Shelley. 2008. All Shook Up.

When you're thirteen, it doesn't take much for you to think your parents are embarrassing. Meet Josh. He normally lives with his mom in Boston, but when his grandmother falls and breaks her hip, Josh is sent to stay with his Dad in Chicago while his mom is off to Florida.

Looking back, I would say everything in my life changed the summer I turned thirteen and my father turned into Elvis.
I'd heard people say thirteen was an unlucky number, and from the very...more
Jill
This book looked like it was going to be awful when I saw the cover and read the book jacket. It wasn't as bad as I thought and I had a good time reading it.

It was, however, a formula book. In that way, it was completely, outrageously, predictable. I understand why writers write this kind of book - it is easy to do. Think of a kid who would have a problem, think of a crazy scheme that's going to really hurt someone in his life, have him do it and feel very guilty for the rest of the book. Ugh. I...more
Elaine
This book probably deserves five stars, but the problem is with my taste in books rather than the book.

I am not sure what to say about this book. It should definitely appeal to all the kids whose parents have ever done something that embarrasses them. I guess that means everybody.

I really liked how Josh came to realize that everything was not about him. I couldn't blame him for being self-centered. I think that is human nature and it is especially strong in a teenager.

I grew up as an Elvis fan a...more
Missy
My son is trying to read all 20 "Rebecca Caudill" 2011 book nominees for an award at his school. We've always been impressed by the books on the list - usually just right for ages 9-12 or so. This one was fine, but I become frustrated by books/shows where there is a problem caused by someone's dishonesty that could be cleared up if they would just tell the truth. But that rarely happens and so they dig themselves a deeper hole trying to cover up their lie... You know how it goes.

This is an easy...more
Cole Sawickis
First of all, if you like Elvis, this book is for you! If you are not really a fan of Elvis, that is okay, too, because I am not a fan either. Overall, I thought this book was pretty good. The main character (Josh) has to go visit his dad in Chicago for a few months. Some things I liked about this book are the places Josh goes and the things he does, they make it more interesting. One thing I dislike about it is, in some chapters, it tends to get a little boring. The book doesn't take long to re...more
Arminzerella
Josh, thirteen, has to go live with his father in Chicago when his mom has to go stay with her mother in Florida (after she breaks her hip). He misses his friends in Boston, and his life there, but Josh finds that the worst thing about coming to Chicago is the fact that his dad has become an Elvis impersonator after losing his job (shoe salesman). It’s so embarrassing that Josh can’t even tell his mom about it. It’s so embarrassing that he forbids Ivory (his dad’s girlfriend Viv’s daughter) to t...more
John
Sent to live with your dad for a few months while your mom cares for your elderly grandmother, forced to try to survive in a new school, and your Dad has chosen as his occupation ... Elvis impersonator.

The premise of this book is a good one.

I didn't care for Josh's tone. He comes across as EXTREMELY self-absorbed, and while I think 7th graders can be self-absorbed, this is a little over the top. I think Josh is realistic, but I think Josh's self-absorbancy makes it difficult to "root" for him.

O...more
Nazik
All Shook Up is about a boy named Josh whose life changes the summer he turns thirteen. Josh’s parents are divorced; he lives with his mom in Boston and visits his dad every summer in Chicago. Before starting the seventh grade, Josh’s grandmother, who lives in Florida, breaks her hip. His mom decides to go and take care of his grandmother and ships Josh to Chicago to live with his dad. So, Josh is forced to leave his school and friends in Boston and go live in Chicago for a few months. A surpri...more
Tami
I have recently become a HUGE fan of this author. She writes everything from amazing historical fiction to contemporary fiction, to stories based on current, real-life events. I first became aware of her when her book ALL OF THE ABOVE showed up on the Maud Hart Lovelace Award Nominee list for 2010-11 in Division II (5th -7th grade).

Having read ALL OF THE ABOVE and enjoyed it so thoroughly, I went looking for more of Ms. Pearsall’s work. I also visited her website, which is quite informative and...more
Asani Smith
The classic story of the teen with divorced parents, except this one is spiced up a bit. So it all starts off with a 13 year old boy who has to leave his hometown to go stay with his father for a few months. He doesn't mind the idea until he ends up at the Chicago airport staring at some wacky guy that looks like Elvis. Come to find out that it was his dad, his dad changed from shoe store employe to Elvis impersonater. At first he's comfortable with it until his dad signs up to preform at his sc...more
Kelly
Josh, a 13-year-old, must go and stay with his father in Chicago while his mother cares for his ailing grandmother. His parents divorced when he was five because his father, a shoe salesmen, just couldn't get his act together. Josh's father loses his job and begins a career as an Elvis impersonator.

I thought that this was a very creative book, but I didn't find it to be extremely enjoyable. Shelley Pearsall is a crafty writer and created some great characters, but I just didn't like Josh all tha...more
Erik Dewey
A decent read, I was under the impression when I picked it up that there would be a question as to whether the main character's father would actually be Elvis, but it isn't the case. Instead he is an Elvis impersonator and the 13 year-old protagonist is afraid it will embarrass him in front of his new classmates.

I found that I really liked all the characters in the book, except the main one. His fear of being made fun of for his Dad's job with students he knows he'll only be around for a few mon...more
Kathleen
I was humming Elvis tunes to myself all the way through this book, how could you not.

Being a 13 year-old boy with divorced parents is hard enough. But add to that the fact that he not only has to spend this summer with his dad in Chicago, he's going to be starting 7th grade there as well. And when he arrives in Chicago, his dad has other surprises for Josh - a new girlfriend and he's started his own business as an Elvis impersonator. This could possibly be the worst year Josh has had yet.

While y...more
6forbes_jon
The book, All Shook up was a documentary story About Elvis Presley. The book talked about Elvis Presly and his journey through his singing career. But there is one important thing about the story is that it is described in a elvis impersanator in a good way. Throughout the story it talks about road blocks in elvis presleys bad times and what happened. A very unique thing about the story is that the author states " Dance king meets real king" this is saying that an elvis actor actually met elvis...more
H
A fairly standard read that might extend down to a strong 4th grader, this is a tale of Josh, a 13 year old boy who has to spend 4 months living with his father in Chicago while his mother tends to a sick grandmother. Josh has to enroll in a strange school where no one knows him and cope with the fact that dad has lost his job and is trying to make it as an Elvis impersonator. As you would expect, Josh slowly learns to accept dad and not be so self-focused. Has a few funny moments, but isn't too...more
M.
May 13, 2010 M. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: late 5th grade and up
Recommended to M. by: 2011 Rebecca Caudill nominee
Josh is sent to live with his father in Boston for a few weeks or months when his grandmother in Florida breaks her hip and his mother has to go to take care of her. This is fine until Josh finds out that his dad has lost his job as a shoe salesman (the shoe store closed) and has become a professional Elvis impersonator. To cap it off, his dad's new girlfriend owns a second hand shop and her daughter, in Josh's grade at school, dresses in clothes from the shop. So,,,a new city, a new school, and...more
Bmack
2011 Rebecca Caudill nominee. Josh Greenwood is sent to live with his father, in Chicago, for a few months while his mom takes care of his grandmother in Florida. It didn't seem like such a bad idea until his father meets him at the airport looking like Elvis. Josh finds out his dad lost his job and is now working on his new career as an Elvis impersonator. In the story, Josh tries to deal with his parents divorce, wants to fit into his new school and fears people finding out what his dad does f...more
Susan
Seventh-grader Josh has to go live with his dad in Chicago while his mother leaves Boston to go take care of his grandmother in Florida. To Josh's great consternation, he discovers that the shoe store where his dad had worked for years has closed down. Dad is now making a living as an Elvis impersonator! Josh does fine at his new school, makes some friends, and muddles through without too much embarrassment until the possibility of his friends finding out about Elvis looms ahead. This is a good...more
Sean Kottke
A breezy little YA novel about Josh, an average 13 year old boy who goes to live with his Dad for a few months, only to discover that Dad has recently embarked on a new career as a professional Elvis impersonator. Josh's mortification at the prospect of Dad performing at an upcoming school dance is a pretty straightforward case study in the psychological phenomenon of the "imaginary audience," and his attempts to negotiate the cliques of junior high should resonate with anyone who's survived it....more
Melissa McLees
This book was humorous. I loved the way Shelley named each chapter of the book, I liked the characters in the book.
Tatumb014
When josh finds out he has to go to his dad's for a few months, he is not happy. When he gets to the airport he is completely humiliated by his father. he father was not working at the shoes store like he used to. he got fired when the shoe store closed. For a living his father impersonates ................... Elvis!?!?! Wow thats embarrassing!

I like All Shook Up because it definitely makes you laugh. Have you ever seen your dad dress exactly like Elvis Presley? Probably not. There are many goof...more
Christina
May 05, 2008 Christina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: boys and girls, elvis fans or not
Shelves: realistic, humor
Middle schooler Josh has to stay several weeks with his dad in chicago, while his mom takes care of his ill grandmother. He's not too keen on that, since he's lived with his mom since their divorce. But then Josh learns that his dad has quit his job to become an ELVIS IMPERSONATOR! If any of the kids at his new school find out, he'll die of embarrassment. So who keeps leaving him notes on his locker signed "Elvisly Yours"?? Great story, funny characters, and I liked how the author incorporated l...more
Elizabeth
All Josh wants to do is be a normal 13 year old kid, but that's seriously hard when your Dad is an Elvis impersonator. As Josh works to blend in at his new school it seems like everything is against him from his Dad's girlfriend's kooky daughter to the weird notes being left on his locker. When his Dad is asked to sing at his school it's the last straw, and Josh fights back.

This hilarious book is entertaining from start to finish. Josh's descriptions of the world around him, especially Chicago,...more
Jamie
Josh has to move to Chicago to live with his dad (his parents are divorced) while his mom takes care of his grandma in Florida for a few months. Once he gets to Chicago, he finds out his dad has lost his job and is now earning money being an Elvis impersonator.

I didn't like this book as much as I was hoping. I had heard it was laugh out loud funny, but I never really got that impression of it myself. The overall story was ok. Josh was kind-of a little annoying as a character, but some of the oth...more
Debbie
Just before 7th grade begins, Josh goes to live with his dad in Chicago, because his mom goes down to Florida to help take care of his grandma for a few months. To his surprise, he finds out his father lost his job as a shoe salesman and is now working as an Elvis impersonator. On top of this embarassing development, he has trouble getting in with the popular kids and is befriended by his father's girlfriend's daughter, one of the "loser" kids. During his time in Chicago, just about everything i...more
Katie
Ages 9-12. Josh has just turned 13, and he is quickly realizing that it is indeed an unlucky number. Every summer Josh flies to Chicago to spend a month with his dad, but this time he’ll be staying a few months and even starting school there. Josh is already nervous about it, and when his dad meets him at the airport with dyed black hair and huge triangular sideburns, he cannot believe his (bad) luck. Soon, he discovers that his dad has lost his (normal) job as a shoe salesman and is now making...more
Additeenlibrarian
Josh is not thrilled to find out that his father has lost his job as a shoe salesman - and has decided to make his living as an Elvis impersonator. Seriously. Now Josh is stuck with his dad for several months while his mother helps his grandma recover from a broken hip. What _normal_ teenager wants to be seen with a guy who has giant Elvis sunburns, wears shirts with parrots on them, and throws sweaty scarves to middle-aged women? Yuck. Josh just wants to blend in ('cause it's middle school, duh...more
Joy
I thought the premise of this book was funny as everyone knows what it is like to be mortified by your parents as a teen. Unfortunately, I found the book to be too one dimensional, right along with the characters. However, I did like the fact that the father and son don't completely resolve their differences. Probably the most compelling part of the novel is the afterword, in which the author discusses how much research she did about Elvis impersonators. Now that is interesting!
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32301
I grew up in a blue-collar suburb of Cleveland called Parma where I used to write stories in a bedroom closet (aka my writer’s office). I tried to get my first novel – a 40 page handwritten story called “I am the Only One Left” - published when I was thirteen. As you can probably guess, it was rejected!

It took about twenty years before I finally had my first published book, Trouble Don’t Last (Kno...more
More about Shelley Pearsall...
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