Title: Songs For A Teenage Nomad
Author: Kim Culbertson
Published: September 2010 By Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count: 242
After living in twelve places in eight years with her drifting mother, fourteen-year-old Calle Smith finds herself in Andreas Bay, California, at the start of ninth grade. Fearful of putting down roots anywhere, but armed with her song journal, she moves to her own sound track through a world that bounces her between the school drama crowd, a mysterious loner, and an unlikely boy who will become her first love. But it's the troubling truth she uncovers about her father that forces Calle to face the toughest choice of her young life.
Guest Review By Krista Ashe:
What's not to love about a book that starts off with a quote from Bob Dylan? As someone who loves to use songs for everything from mood music while writiting to using song lyrics to teach figurative language in classroom, I have never really read a book that used music as such a part of the setting to where it's almost another character. The closest would be Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, I suppose. And I really did feel that music became a character as well as a setting sometimes. Many songs and artists were not only referenced, but the chapter openings might have song lyrics posted.
You have the character of Calle who has criss-crossed through the state of California with her mom. They've never lived in one place long, and her mom is also one who has had several boyfriends and several husbands for them to move away from. But in their latest town, Calle actually hooks up with a group of theater friends: Eli, Alexa, and Drew. And for the first time, she's happy and likes it in a place. She's also intrigued by Sam, a football player, who shows signs of being anything but the typical jock. And in those moments when he can get away from his A-crowd friends, he opens up to Calle. In the midst of all this, Calle comes across a picture of her father--the one that was supposed to have left her and her mom when she was just a baby. A desire burns in her to find out about him.
I would give 4 1/2 Stars to Songs of a Teenage Nomad. I loved Calle's voice and perspective. Her honesty, insecurity, and strength were commendable. I was rooting for her throughout the book. I look forward to reading more books by Kim Culbertson.