Dial Books, 2010
Piper's been deaf since the age of six, and has been looking forward to attending the nation's premier university for the hearing impaired. The only problem is, her parents have just used her college fund to do the unthinkable: pay for her deaf baby sister's cochlear implants. To add insult to injury, Piper has had the same hot pink hearing aids since she went deaf. Her high school's resident punk band, Dumb, has just won Seattle's Battle of the Bands. When Piper opens her big mouth, the band makes a deal with her. She has 30 days to get them a paying gig. Piper's so desperate to replenish the college fund, she takes them on, but has no idea what she's getting herself into. Dumb is made up of an egotistical lead singer, his lost-in-thought bass player brother, a guitar player with a chip on her shoulder, and no drummer. Throughout all the ups and downs, Piper must also deal with her father, an unemployed business man who is not happy playing Mr. Mom and resists using ASL, her overworked mother, and a trouble making brother. She thinks her life can't get more complicated, but Dumb seems eager to prove her wrong.
Why I picked it up: I first read about it on one of the many book review blogs I read. The plot sounded fresh, and I was especially interested in how Piper's deafness would play a part.
Judging by the cover...: This cover is awesome! I can easily picture the girl on the front as Piper, and the rest of the design feels like I'm looking at a concert poster. A+!
- Rock Music - With Piper's significant hearing loss, she never really became interested in music. John takes the reader on a tour of Seattle's most popular musicians, Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix, and along the way teaches us and Piper why these guys were so influential.
- Coffee Shop - Ed's works part time in a coffee shop and can do all sorts of amazing things with espresso. HOT.
- Hair Dye - Who hasn't wanted to dye their hair an outrageous color? Pink, green, blue, fire engine red? Imagine your teenage self shocking five years off of your parents' lives with outrageous hair. Sounds fun, doesn't it!
I was extremely impressed that the book wasn't all about Piper's hearing, it was just another thing that made her who she was. I applaud John for not making this book about being deaf, but about managing a really dysfunctional group of people. Piper is a very authentic character and the plot was original and imaginative.
Recommendation: There are so many facets to this book that make it accessible to almost all groups. Check it out!