Ms. Yingling's Reviews > I Am (Not) the Walrus

I Am (Not) the Walrus by Ed Briant
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's review
May 29, 2012

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Read in May, 2012

Growing up in Port Jackson without a dad and with a mum who is struggling to make ends meet, Toby's life is difficult, but he makes do. He and his friend have a Beatle's cover band that they are trying to name (and there are so many fun choices-- The Day Trippers, The Nowhere Men, etc.) and get gigs for. Toby is lucky to be able to use his brother Shawn's equipment, since Shawn is off in the military, but when he finds a note in hi precision bass that it may be stolen, he starts to wonder whether or not he should keep the instrument. Trying to return it proves interesting but perilous, since a shady guy named Rupert is very eager to get his hands on the guitar, which was used at one time by George Harrison. With the help of a girl he meets, aptly named Michelle, Toby tries to make his gigs, figure out what is going on with the guitar, and come to terms with his difficult family situation.
Strengths: This was a great realistic fiction book for boys, with a nice romance and great music connections. I'm sure that there are a lot of boys in high school who are in bands who would like to read this. It's clearly British in tone (set near London), but not distractingly so, and over the twenty years that I have been teaching, the Beatles have never waned in popularity among a small number of students. Picky Reader, who loved Jan Page's Rewind, might even read this one.
Weaknesses: Sometimes scenes dragged on with too much descriptive detail, but not often.

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