Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Pay the Piper (A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale #1) by Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple

Pay the Piper by Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple
Publication: June 27, 2006
Publisher: Starscape
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★
A rock 'n' roll band to die for . . .

When fourteen-year-old Callie McCallan scores a backstage pass to interview the lead singer of the famous band Brass Rat, she's thrilled. Peter Gringras is so cool. When he plays his flute, it's as if he has some kind of hypnotic power. But there is something strange about him, something Callie can't quite put her finger on. Then, on Halloween night, Callie's little brother Nicky disappears, along with all the other children in town. It's crazy, but Callie thinks she knows where the children have gone--and who took them. To prove it, and to rescue Nicky and the other children, Callie must journey to a mythical world filled with fantastical creatures. A world from which there may be no return. . .

On the 26th of June 1284, “came a colorful piper to Hamelin and led 130 children away…”

More interesting, of course, is the why of it all. And so, many tales have stemmed from this brief account. Tales that had been weaved and threaded to give reason to these unfathomable bare facts. I’m sure you’ve heard or read some of them. Still, there is no harm in giving way to one more, right? This time, however, the Piper came to Northampton, Massachusetts. Now the question is, “Who will pay the Piper this time?”

A striving school journalist and self-conscious middle child, Callie, might have the answer.

The title caught my attention instantly. It is undeniably very intriguing- A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fairytale. I love retellings. I love it whenever folklores and fairytales are given new twists and different endings. I love it when they come with new diverse heroes, because (as one would expect) it’s the complications that give retellings new life. This is a coming-of-age book that shows children the value of family, responsibility, love, and sacrifices with a very modern approach. Even for children, this is definitely a short and enjoyable read.

And by the way, we, middle children (ahem) absolutely rock.


About the Authors:

Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Born and raised in New York City, the mother of three and the grandmother of six, Yolen lives in Massachusetts and St. Andrews, Scotland.

I am a professional writer, poet, musician, web designer, and poker player, as well as an amateur artist, youth soccer coach, and skilled pinball player. In the past, I have worked in a warehouse, picked vegetables for two bucks an hour, rehabbed houses, golfed (poorly), traded options, arranged music for children’s books, got married, and raised two mostly grown children. - Adam Stemple

*Photos and profiles were grabbed from authors' Goodreads and blog sites. No infringement was intended.

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