Born to Rock by Gordon Korman
Going through high school as a leader of the Young Republicans, on track for Harvard with a full scholarship, Leo Caraway works hard to control what he calls his inner McMurphy. When he was 10 Leo learned his biological father is Marion X. McMurphy, a rock star known as King Maggot, leader of the punk band Purge, the “angriest band in America.” His mother, a fan of the band when she was young, was invited to an after party when she attended a concert, and Leo was conceived. The man Leo has called father his whole life has always known. When Leo loses his scholarship right before the end of senior year over an unjust accusation of cheating, and Purge coincidentally reunites for a tour, Leo confronts King Maggot at a press conference with his birth certificate. King Maggot gives Leo a summer job as a roadie while they await the results of DNA testing. Several times Leo faces moral and ethical dilemmas when he is forced to act. By the end of the summer Leo has a completely different perspective on King Maggot, punk rock and girl who’s been his best friend since they were babies. Like other Gordon Korman books, Born to rock has realistic characters and a good amount of humor. I especially liked that Leo narrates the book, instead of being told through a third person voice. Leo comes across as a true-to-life teenager trying hard to manage his life, feelings and relationships with family and friends.
Reviewed by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson