Blues Bones by Rick Starkey
Genre: Middle Grade Horror
A great book for middle-graders!
Rodney Becker is on his way to becoming a star. His online music video “Unplugged” has already received over 1,000 hits. There’s only one problem. Well, actually two. Problem number 1: the video was posted by none other than Eddie Reed, Rodney’s worst enemy. Problem number 2: “Unplugged” is a humiliating showcase of Rodney unplugging his guitar and running off stage without playing a single chord.
If Rodney has any hope of winning the music competition only a month away, he has to get over his stage fright. When he notices a rabbit’s foot attached to the guitar strap of a famous rock star, he realizes he needs a good luck charm. An internet search leads Rodney and his best friend Max to Voodoo. With a simple spell, Rodney will be cured—unless something backfires. Then he’ll have to deal with the power of return, which will bring him three times more bad luck than he started with.
Things get crazy fast. Soon Rodney is stealing, sneaking out, and talking back to his mom. When he jams his finger, and his dad “borrows” his guitar, Rodney begins to worry. Is it the power of return or a weird coincidence? Everything is spiraling out of control and Rodney suddenly has more to worry about than his reputation. He could lose his best friend, the girl he has a crush on, and even put his family in danger. Rodney has to find a way to fix everything before it’s too late.
The only reason I gave this book four stars is because I don’t think it’s scary enough to be classified as horror. However, it’s a great book where everything that can go wrong does go wrong for Rodney Becker. The author does a great job portraying original characters with a spot-on first person narrative from an eighth grade boy. There are also many guitar/recording references that any music lover will appreciate. All in all, this is a wonderful debut, and I look forward to reading more from this author.
Growing up, I was the