Rock the Boat

9781459804555. ea vol: 168p. (Orca Limelights). ebook available. Orca. May 2015. pap. $9.95.
Gr 7–10—In Rock the Boat, 17-year-old Webb is a Canadian songwriter trying to land a record deal in Nashville. He runs into financial trouble when he places his trust in an unscrupulous record producer. When Webb buys lunch for a musician who turns out to be more than meets the eye, the young man's fortune begins to change. In Learning the Ropes, despite her father's misgivings, Mandy attends a camp that trains young people to be professional circus performers. She needs to stay focused on her rope climbing to beat the competition, but an accident resulting in the death of a local aerialist threatens Mandy's drive. Does she have the guts to pursue this dangerous profession, or should she follow her dad's advice and set her dream aside? Both of these novels will hook readers from the first chapter. Even though the ambitions of the main characters are specialized, Webb and Mandy are relatable to any young teen in pursuit of a dream. The specifics of the characters' interests—music and circus performance—are described in a way that is true to life and easy to grasp.
VERDICT Suspenseful plots, fascinating details, and likable protagonists make these titles wonderful additions to hi-lo collections.

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