The Scar Boys

Len Vlahos. Egmont USA, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-60684-439-7
Publishing exec Vlahos debuts with a coming-of-age/rock-and-roll novel mashup written in the form of a college admissions essay (one that blows past the 250-word limit). Left physically and psychologically scarred by a childhood accident involving bullies and lightning, Harbinger “Harry” Jones is ignored or considered a “freak” at school. In middle school, he’s befriended by a kid named Johnny, and in high school they start a band. When they take the show on the road, life becomes immeasurably more entertaining, especially with crushworthy Cheyenne on board as the Scar Boys’ bassist. Injuries aside, Harry’s trajectory loosely mirrors Vlahos’s time as the guitarist for a touring punk/pop band, so details like how to cut a record, land a gig at the now-defunct club CBGB (the novel is set in the 1970s and ’80s), or rework a tour when the van breaks down strongly resonate. This, along with the author’s clear passion for music, balances out a few clunky structural elements, such as flashbacks within the already retrospective narration, as Harry learns to open up to himself and others. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sandra Bond, Bond Literary Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/2013
Release date: 01/21/2014
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-60684-566-0
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-60684-440-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-8041-6726-0
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-5124-4091-1
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-5124-0392-3
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