cover image Rules to Rock By

Rules to Rock By

Josh Farrar, Walker, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-8027-2079-5

Music is the center of sixth-grader Annabelle Cabrera's life, but she is forced to leave her beloved band, Egg Mountain, behind when her rocker parents decide to move from Brooklyn to Rhode Island to finish their own album. Egg Mountain had been on the verge of stardom, but now Annabelle must start from scratch, trying to fit in, find fellow musicians, and start a new band. To make matters worse, the care of Annabelle's troublemaking nine-year-old brother has fallen largely on Annabelle's shoulders, instead of her remarkably unaccountable parents ("my parents were in no condition to help anybody but themselves"). Against the odds, Annabelle forms the Bungles and pours her heart into song lyrics, expressing her mixed feelings about her family, the move, and her sense of belonging. First-time author Farrar fleshes out Annabelle's musical obsession with references to the Beatles, Joan Jett, and other classic rock musicians that inspire her, making the narrative more authentic. Music lovers in particular should enjoy the glimpse into Annabelle's atypical life and relate to what is ultimately a celebration of family. Ages 8–12. (July)