Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tom Ryan Week: Totally Unrelated

Totally Unrelated by Tom Ryan

Some people's family's watch football together, others get together to play board games, Neil's family plays music. They didn't sit down one day and decide to be in a family band, it was more like since the kids in his family were old enough to hold instruments, they played. Then the kids turned into teens and became good musicians and now Neil's weekends are filled with performances of the Family McClintock.

The problem is, the traditional Celtic tunes aren't the kind of music that Neil enjoys. He plays guitar at the back and feels a bit like life is passing him by. When his best friend convinces him to start a band for a talent competition and he has the chance to write his own music, he can't deny that the energy he gets from the new project is totally different than when he's playing jigs and reels in church halls. But, when it comes down to it, will he be able to choose his new found passion over his family commitments?

I really liked this look at a unique family. There are a lot of musical traditions that get passed around in families and it's not something you see talked a lot about in YA. Neil's family is from Cape Breton and there are lots of moments where people come up and thank him or one of his siblings for "keeping the music alive." Even though Neil wouldn't choose to listen to a radio station of the music that his family plays, he can't help but see that it's important to a lot of people.

This is a fun, quick read especially for the musicians out there who know the difference between having your head in the game during a performance and just coasting by.

Finally, Totally Unrelated made us want to know more about the music of Cape Breton and so, clearly that led to a lot of Youtube video watching... here's one that reminded us of the Family McClintock (once the twins get a little older)

More books to try:

Teens Read Week Reposting: Struts and Frets (with Author Interview Bonus!)

Can't Make it to SXSW? Us Either. Time for a Lit Super Group!

Up and Coming: Paradise by Jill S. Alexander

Postcard Fridays: England and the UK

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