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Born to Rock

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  2,299 Ratings  ·  337 Reviews
Leo Caraway—high school senior, president of the Young Republicans club, 4.0 GPA, future Harvard student—had his entire future perfectly planned out. That was, until the X factor. As in Marion X. McMurphy, aka King Maggot, the lead singer of Purge, the most popular, most destructive band punk rock has ever seen. He's also Leo’s biological father.

When Leo discovers that hi

Hardcover, 261 pages
Published March 16th 2006 by Scholastic Canada
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Jay T.
Oct 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"You know what punk is? A bunch of no-talent guys who really, really want to be in a band. Nobody reads music, nobody plays the mandolin, and you're too dumb to write songs about mythology or Middle Earth. So what's your style? Three chords, cranked out fast and loud and distorted because your instruments are crap and you can't play them worth a damn. And you scream your lungs out to cover up the fact that you can't sing. It should suck, but here's the thing- it doesn't."

This book is an amazing
Oct 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as YA books go, Korman is pretty much where it's at. Born to Rock is no exception. He manages to write about punk rock and the 80's without mentioning one curse word. He writes about love, drugs, womanizing, republicans, and crashing through windows on motorcycles and never once goes into any sort of detail that would strike up an image of disgust or have those "right for our kids" groups banging down his door. He is the antithesis of writers who go into too much detail scratching out eve ...more
Mar 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leo Caraway, Harvard-bound Young Republican, discovers that his biological father is famed punk rocker King Maggot. He ends up going on the road with pop and his band Purge for a summer reunion tour, and wackiness ensues. This is some highly enjoyable wackiness, folks. I had a great time reading this book—though I really do wish the ending had been less rushed.
Jan 04, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I generally like Korman's books because they're funny quick reads. In this way, Born to Rock is representative of Korman's style.

The book may appeal more to adults who like young adult fiction, rather than teens. Adults may identify with the plastic "posers" and the aging music singer scene.

Still, the book ends positively and there's affection shown to most of the characters.
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-music, ya-humor
Born to Rock was an amusing read. The idea of a Harvard bound young Republican from Connecticut on tour as a roadie with a notorious punk band sounds like the set up for a much funnier novel than Born to Rock. Somehow, Korman’s book fell a bit flat in the humor department for me.

I’m not sure teens would find it laugh out loud funny either. Again, I think it is a light, amusing read. Younger teens would probably enjoy reading about Leo’s adventure touring with Purge. While there is sex, drugs an
The cover to this fun tome grabs your interest right away. An infant with a spiky mohawk, perfectly formed. Is Leo, the Young Republican and Harvard-bound senior, really related to King Maggot, the greatest punk rocker of the 80's? Can Leo see that a childhood friend Melinda, behind the goth get-up and anti-establishment attitude, was perfect for him? Who is his biological father? King Maggot, who in a strange way he wishes it to be, or the unseemly and womanizing Tour manager cousin of the King ...more
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book blends two aspects of literature that I find refreshing: young adult lit and rock and roll fiction. The two tend to go hand-in-hand, and this one was no exception. Perhaps because the protagonist isn't a musician himself, or maybe I'm just softening my feelings in general for the genre, but I thought this book was actually pretty well written. There were some plot twists that caught even myself off guard, but for spoilers' sake, I won't get into those. Still, it was a really fun read, ...more
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leo Caraway has always been aware of a rage within. It comes as no surprise to him when he discovers that his biological father is the front man for a punk rock band. He finds an opportunity to meet his dad at a press conference for the beginning of a "comeback" tour. His dad invites him to join the tour, for the summer, as a roadie. (This is the summer after Leo graduates from high school.) Leo learns about the rock 'n' roll lifestyle and realizes his values are not aligned with it. Paradoxical ...more
Taylor Moffat
this is my very first Gordon Korman book i didn't like it because the book was very repetitive and it had some words i didn't understand and in general boring but the character was funny and the surprise about his dad was the best part for me
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes a big turn from a couple chapters in. The main character thinks his life is normal and fine until he finds out his actual father is a rock n roll king. One of the quotes in the book is "McMurphy" which describes Leo's (the main character) inner anger and rage. He does not know where these random outburts come from when he gets too mad. It is later proved that his real father is the rock n roll guy where he got McMurphy from. The author uses a lot of humor in this book which I thi ...more
Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
eo Caraway considers himself to be at a slight disadvantage. You see, he has a genetic hijacker in his bloodstream–and how can he be held responsible? He knows nothing about the man who contributed half of his DNA, other than his name, which he really only stumbled onto by chance. Until he reads his best friend’s English Term Paper, that is.

After years of unanswered questions from his mother, Leo learns one simple internet search would have given him all he wanted to know. McMurphy, the genetic
Leo Caraway is president of the young republicans club, a great student, and has a scholarship to Harvard. But then he discovers that his biological father is King Maggot, the lead singer of Purge, the greatest punk band in history. He hates punk music, and doesn’t want anything to do with his real father. That is, until he is falsely accused of cheating on a test, and gets his scholarship to Harvard taken away. So then he has to accept a job as a roadie on purge’s summer tour, with hopes that b ...more
Aug 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
Gordon Korman, author of the hilarious books Son of the Mob and No More Dead Dogs produces yet another side-splitting novel. Born to Rock is the story of a smart boy named Leo. Leo is a founding member of his school's Young Republicans and has been accepted to Harvard with a full scholarship. Leo is accused of cheating on a test and loses his scholarship.

At the same time, his best friend punk rock Melinda tells him all about the reunion of the famous punk band Purge. Purge was considered the rud
Apr 14, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I think this book primarily suffered from poor editing. The story's idea is compelling - young republican finds out he's the son of the baddest of the bad punk legends, King Maggot and is forced to survive a punk rock tour to earn money for a lost Harvard scholarship. But the summary was more flushed out than the actually story. It's seventy meandering pages before the tour begins. The crucial event that causes him to lose his scholarship takes up a mere two sentences. Tell it as background and ...more
May 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leo is just another Harvard-bound, Young Republican when a bombshell hits him: he is the son of punk legend Marion X. McMurphy, aka King Maggot. When Leo unexpectedly gets his Harvard scholarship taken away from him, he takes the opportunity to contact “bio-Dad” with intentions of getting some money for college. While the DNA test is pending, King invites Leo to come with him on his band’s tour of the US. Between being a roadie, keeping doughnuts away from the band’s drummer, a roommate who hate ...more
Jul 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sweetest, funniest book about a punk rock band you're likely to find. As he's on the verge of high-school graduation and an Ivy League future, Young Republican Leo finds out that his biological father is not the dad he grew up with, but King Maggot, the lead singer of the fictional Greatest Punk Band Ever, Purge. He submits to a DNA test and goes on tour as a roadie with Purge to get to know King.

The problem, as you can guess from the fact that King is old enough to have a college-ag
Apr 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, ya
Leo Caraway is not the type of character you'd usually expect to see in a novel for teens. He's a member of the Young Republicans, has earned early admission to Harvard complete with a much-needed scholarship, and has a best friend named Melinda who is a full-on Goth who thinks of punk music like a religion. When Leo agrees to do a favor for Melinda, the result is an accusation of cheating that loses Leo his scholarship and dreams of Harvard. His discovery that his biological father is actually ...more
Oct 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit, audiobook, 2010
Gordon Korman has been on my list of YA authors to check out for a while so when I found this audiobook at my library, I was pretty happy about it. But I found the story very eh. Leo, the main character, finds out that is biological father is a rock star and decides to join his tour for the summer. The story is what I think many people expect from YA -- a quick pace and problems that are magnified with strong emotions and reactions.

Leo is a Young Republican, which I thought was kind of a cool d
Nov 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Off beat story about a young teen, Leo, who is everything a mother could love.. smart, respectful, a 'Young Replublican', and up for a full ride scholarship to Harvard.
The only strange thing about him is his very close friendship with Melinda. Melinsa is brash, anti-establishment, liberal, goth/punker whoose hero is punk rocker King Maggot.
His life seems to be going along just fine until two major catastrophes happen, he looses his Harvard scholarship when he is falsely accused of cheating,
SBY Youth Services Rencsko
In this story the Republican Party meets Punk Rock when a high school senior by the name of Leo discovers that his father is the lead singer of the legendary punk rock band Purge. At first, Leo decides that he wants nothing to do with his biological father…going against everything that is conservative but when he is accused of cheating and his full ride to Harvard is ripped away Leo decides that he should take this biological connection all the way to the bank.

This funny and enlightening tale fo
Lady Knight
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I've liked Gordon Korman's writing style for a while now, but I haven't been too impressed with his Young Adult offerings. "Born to Rock" started out rather like "Son of Interflux" for me, but got much, much better! The story follows Leo who after he gets caught suppossedly cheating on a test loses his full scholarship to Harvard. $40, 000 a year is way beyond his parents modest means and he has to come up with some other way to get the money. Enter Marion X McMurphy. McMurphy is the mysterious ...more
Michele Velthuizen
Interest level: 7th +
Reading level: medium
Genre: punk rock, music, adventure, humor

Here's another very funny book by the author of the "Son of the Mob" series (if you haven't read it do so soon!)

Leo is leading a seemingly happy life, getting ready for Harvard University when, one day, he notices something strange on his birth certificate - his surname is different to the one he has been using all his life. Having to squeeze the truth out of his mother, Leo is horrified to discover that his biolo
Thomas McBride
Born To Rock was an ok book it had a little comedy, a little adventure. I would recommend this book to younger teens. I've read some of Gordon Korman's books and was a almost awesome one of his.
Cherie Summers
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up because it seemed appropriate considering the main character of my novel is in a punk band. It was even more perfect that one of the characters, Melinda (my non writing name) loved punk music.

I enjoyed the book. Was a fun read as the main character finds out that he was adopted by his stepdad (something else I had in common with the book) and that his real dad was a huge punk rock superstar back in the 80's. And he hates this type of music!

What ensues is some fun times as he e
Patricia Salgado
i enjoyed this book a lot, at first i didn't understand it but then my group explain it to me a little better after that i understood it, i would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read books about people that are their same age and basically tell you things about their life and that you can relate to some of the thing that stated in the book. i also enjoyed this book because i can relate to a little bit of the things that said in the book.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book because It will would a lot of detail and it would describe everything with a lot a of detail if even if it is the smallest thing.I wouldn't recommend this book because in the first few chapters nothing really happens and people that like to get right into the action and were all the drama happens in the being that won't be a book for those people but people that really like a lot of detail that would be a book for them.
Kiyora Daniels
This book was about a boy who soon realizes his father is not his father so he starts an adventure to go find his biological father. He has a couple clues on how to find him. First his biological father is part of a band called Purge. Second his mom tells him his biological father is the leader of the Purge (or so she thought). I would rate this book a 3 out of 5 stars. It just isn't the best book Gordon Korman has written.
Date Finished: 9/9/17
Tracie Moore egelston
As always, Gordon Korman does not disappoint. This book was fabulous and I would recommend it for anyone who has a guilty pleasure for young adult books. It's a bit more geared to older teens than most of his books that are geared towards middle school age. Korman helped get my son to read more so I may be a bit bias, but he truly has written another great, funny and entertaining story!
Carla Pineda
i didn't really like Born To Rock because i didn't like the main character Leo, i think he only cared about himself and no one else. For example he only join his dad rock band to get the money for this collage, and he was being mean to his friend when she liked rock band and dressed all black but when she changed her look he thought she looked good.
Favian Ayala
Dec 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like it because there really wasn't a point in the book, it was just about this kid who finds out that his father was a punk rocker. Also there was barely time to read it so i didnt finish. Another thing is that the book was about a lot of politics and i'm not really into that because it is very boring, well to me it is.
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Korman wrote his first book, "This Can't be Happening at Macdonald Hall", when he was 12 years old, for a coach who suddenly found himself teaching 7th grade English. He later took that episode and created a book out of it, as well, in "The Sixth Grade Nickname Game", wherein Mr. Huge was based on that 7th grade teacher.

Korman moved to New York City, where he studied film and film writing. While i
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“You know what punk is? a bunch of no-talent guys who really, really want to be in a band. Nobody reads music, nobody plays the mandolin, and you're too dumb to write songs about mythology or Middle-earth. So what's your style? Three chords, cranked out fast and loud and distorted because your instruments are crap and you can't play them worth a damn. And you scream your lungs out to cover up the fact that you can't sing. It should suck, but here's the thing - it doesn't. Rock and roll can be so full of itself, but not this. It's simple and angry and raw.” 17 likes
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