Monday, February 1, 2016

Book Review: Five Flavors of Dumb

The book title is SOOOO good, I don't even need to think of a quirky title for my post.  As I was reading this book by Antony John, I kept thinking my 5th graders would love this book...except there is cursing in the book.  I would recommend this book for middle school students and above.  It is an enjoyable read and there were nights I didn't want to go to bed just so I could get a little peek at the next event in Piper's life.

The story centers on high schooler, Piper, who criticizes a hot new school rock band, Dumb, then ends up being their manager.  The catch, Piper is deaf.  The band gives her the challenge of landing them a paying gig within one month of her managerial position.  The other catch, Piper has NO idea about hard rock.  

The other players in the story:
Josh, pretty boy/lead singer
Tash, punk rocker/guitar
Will, silent type/guitar
Ed, member of chess club with Piper & eventual drummer
Kallie, eye candy & eventual "can't quite cut it" guitar
Finn, Piper's younger brother, guitar mentor to Kallie & Tash

The reader really gets to understand Piper's relationships with the band and at home.  Her parents throw a slap in her face when they take money out of her college fund to provide cochlear implants for their youngest daughter, Grace.  She is becoming more distant from her mother and to top it off her father never learned signed language (which is her preferred method of communication) even though she can read lips and her hearing aids work somewhat in completely quiet areas.

I really don't even know how to sum up more of the story other than to say, Dumb is Piper's new beginning even if the band breaks up, gets back together, breaks up...well, you get the picture.

Antony John did his research well!  I loved reading the author's note talking about the different people in my hometown of St. Louis that he wanted to thank for assisting him in the history of rock and roll, what it is like for a deaf person in society, hearing aids, and ASL classes.  

Book cover taken from

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