From the Blog
Wise Young Fool
By Sean Beaudoin
August 2013/ Ages 14 and up/ $18
Smash your Stratocaster, pop the devil horns, and bite the head off a bat--this headbanger is so right-on with passion and detail that you'll be smelling the garage-band funk and feeling the bass rattle your teeth. Eighteen-year-old Ritchie Sudden is stuck in juvie and tasked with journaling how he got there. In short: girls, music, and some bullshit trauma that Ritchie doesn't even want to talk about. It starts, as always, with best bud Elliot Hella, he of the shaved head and thick muttonchops, whose go-nowhere life hinges upon winning a big-time battle of the bands. El Hella and Ritchie have the requisite crappy equipment and sloppy chops to make hardcore history--all they need is a drummer, a singer, and a bad-ass band name. ("Sin Sistermouth" ain't cutting it.) Beaudoin is the Fred Astaire of comic writing, translating each sentence into a manic dance routine of half-invented jargon ("chewing the profunda-cud") on his way to blessedly non-cloying coming-of-age glory. The book is hugely generous: in sex, in violence, in attitude, and especially in heart, as Ritchie gets it through his thick skull what "punk" really means. And the performance scenes? Dude. If you can't grok the monster energy of these glorious idiots flailing around on-stage, you're already dead.
Booklist, August 1, 2013