Friday, October 12, 2012

For What It's Worth by Janet Tashjian

Quinn is a walking music encyclopedia who treasures his record collection more than anything.  He writes a music column for his school newspaper and spends his time discussing the latest songs with his best friend.  Quinn is excited when he gets his first girlfriend, Caroline.  Both of their lives get more complicated when Quinn begins receiving messages on his Ouiji board from the members of Club 27 - Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.  Together, they start charging people at school to receive advice from the rock legends.  But the more Quinn interacts with others the more he becomes aware of life outside of his city, especially when his sister's friend shows up asking Quinn for help in dodging the draft to avoid going to Vietnam.  I enjoyed the many references to the music of the 60's and 70's as well as the cultural allusions - a substitute teacher writes her name as Ms. Jones and the kids don't know what that means.  But I don't see it reaching many teens today who most likely don't know who these people are.