I won't go into my elusive career as an 11-year-old Elvis impersonator again. Everything you might want to know, but probably don't, is right here.
Because of my early fascination with The King, I knew I'd love Shelley Pearsall's book: ALL SHOOK UP. Only peripherally is it about Elvis, however.
Here's the story.
Josh must stay with his divorced dad while his mom takes care of his grandmother. Dad lives in Illinois. Boy resides in Boston. Dad is the disorganized type. Mom super organized. Dad just lost his job. Mom knew nothing about this. Dad is now an Elvis impersonator. Josh is mortified.
That may be the story in a very small nutshell. It says nothing about the funny writing, the terrific voice, emotions, experiences of a 13-year-old boy thrown into complete disarray by something he has no control over. Or the wise, clever Ivory. And her friend Digger, the tree-hugging artist wearing a spiked dog collar. And Gladys. What a fabulous secondary character. Small part, large role.
Some of the things I adored about ALL SHOOK UP.
1. The use of Elvis appropriate tunes/ lyrics, as between-chapter breaks.
2. The tiny Elvises decorating the (bottom) page numbers.
3. The way Josh changes in the book.
4. Funny lines: ex. "As we headed down the hall, I could tell people were noticing that I was walking beside a girl who looked like an unraveling brown carpet..."
Thank you to the Cynsations blog where I first read about ALL SHOOK UP.
How had I missed this book and this writer? Now I'm looking forward to dipping into a few more by Shelley Pearsall. Another great boy voice, in a book with appeal to a wide age span and multiple reading types. Kids who loved Al Capone Does My Shirts, The Absolute Value of Mike, or Okay for Now should be handed this one for sure.