Review Blog

Oct 26 2009

Blue noise by Debra Oswald

cover image

Random House, 2009.ISBN 9787741663754.
(Ages 12+) Drooling over the guitars in the local music shop one morning, Ash is accosted by a geeky looking boy about his age, who cajoles him into taking the guitar from the stand and trying it out. In the ensuing few minutes, the boy, Charlie, who is about to join Ash's school in year 10, tells Ash about his idea to form a band and invites Ash to join him. From then on, Charlie uses humour and his own brand of determination to take a group of disparate people and form them into a playing entity.
But each of the three has problems to overcome. Ash's brother is a gambling addict, making his family's life chaotic, as he steals and lies his way through life; Erin loves the blues band but finds it impossible to tell her parents about why she wants to remain at this school and continue with the band while Charlie lives with parents who come and go at the drop of a hat, his photographer father must pack and leave with his family, wherever the work turns out to be.
During the rehearsals, and performances, the festival they attend and the up and downs of life as a band, each of the three works out what is important in their lives and come together, Ash and Erin romantically, while Charlie realises that leaving does not mean severing ties with friends.
A warm, funny novel, infused with the sounds of music, this story will have broad appeal to middles school readers, and make an excellent choice as a text for early secondary students to study in detail.
Fran Knight

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