January 9, 2013

Guitar Highway Rose

Guitar Highway Rose
Brigid Lowry
This edition 2004
First Published 1997
Teen Realistic Fiction

Goodreads Summary
Two Aussie teens hitchhike across Australia in this runaway bestseller about the teenage quest for freedom Fifteen-year-old Rosie Moon is ready for adventure. Popular and smart, Rosie is usually the good girl. But, on the first day of tenth grade, Rosie is immediately attracted to Asher, the mysterious new boy with dreadlocks. When the two pair up for a poetry assignment, a relationship forms. When Asher is falsely accused of stealing someone's wallet, he and Rosie hitchhike up the Australian coast.

Firstly I was recommended to read this book by an 11 year old student of mine.  It was her top book for 2012.  Upon reading it, I loved it, however I did think perhaps 13 years and up would be a more suitable age. Miss 11 year old is a sophisticated reader and I could actually imagine her writing just such a creative and quirky book in a few years time, so I think the exception rather than the rule here.

This book has a seemingly ordinary plot, although a few surprises towards the end had me engaged to the finish. It is not the plot however that makes this book, rather it is the characters and the way in which the story is told.  A wide mix of writing forms are used, at first I found it a little disconcerting, but I was soon loving it.  Imagine this whole paragraph with out a capital or full stop. Every teacher's dread usually! There were paragraphs like this, taking the reader into the head of a 15 year old boy, and it worked. Other forms are diary, streams of consciousness, poetry, police notes..... and so it goes on.  The reader is taken into conversations and characters minds and feelings, hopes, nightmares.  In this way the story is told.

I felt close to the characters, I laughed at some of the conversations, Brigid Lowry had how a four year old talks and an eight year old does, and how a look down yer nose teacher talks. It was wonderful.  Perhaps everything ended too happily? Is that how it works really? Not always, however I still love the way it did finish. There is so much in this book that could open discussion, wishing I taught slightly older students.

I would recommend this book to every teacher and every parent of teens, as well as teens themselves. 

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