Monday, September 16, 2013

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? by Jordan Sonnenblick

Rich Barber is fifteen and completely annoyed with his parents.  Having older, over-protective parents who don't let him do anything is really cramping his style.  It's almost impossible to have a girl friend and even more difficult to develop his talent on the guitar when playing in a band usually involves staying out later than his parents allow. 

In an effort to advance his relationship with Courtney, Rich agrees to figure out a way to attend a protest rally to play his guitar.  After lying to his parents, Rich joins Courtney at the protest and begins to play some of the standard 60's protest songs.  When no one reacts to his music, Rich starts to think maybe he should have paid more attention when Courtney mentioned what the group would be protesting.  The group is a rather strange mix of people including an ancient old lady in a wheelchair complete with oxygen mask and IV.

Rich is relieved when Courtney tells him the old woman has a request.  It's a Bob Dylan tune most people recognize by the title "Everybody Must Get Stoned."  It seems like a strange request, but Rich knows the song and begins to play.  That's when all hell breaks loose.  The next thing Rich knows, he is sharing a jail cell with his father.  Needless to say, Dad isn't happy and the argument that follows results in the most amazing experience Rich could ever imagine.

Author Jordan Sonnenblick takes readers on a time traveling adventure back to the 1960's, the era of hippie culture and the three wonderful days of Woodstock.  To the teens of today, this may seem like ancient history, but Sonnenblick uses the universal love of music to communicate his story.  Rich's experience allows him to better appreciate his father's past, and both father and son learn to connect on a whole new level.

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