Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pay the Piper by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple

The subtitle of this book is: A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale. It's a retelling of the Pied Piper story, set in modern times with rock and roll being the music played by the piper. 14-year-old Callie goes to a concert of the rock band Brass Rat to interview the band for her school newspaper. During the interview she senses something odd about the lead singer, Gringras, and after the concert when she sees him in the alleyway she sees rats who seem to be dancing to his music. She also eavesdrops outside the dressing room door and hears him make some cryptic statements about tithes and souls. She has a difficult time trying to write the story, so much so that she stays home during trick or treating to work on it. Because she has her headphones on while she's working, she is the only child in town not enticed away by the piper's music. Interspersed in the narrative is Gringras' story of his old life in Faerie, and how he came to be exiled. Even though this is not the kind of book I would normally choose, I really enjoyed reading it. Those of you who like Jane Yolen will be sure to like it. Review by Stacy Church

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