Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
Fifteen-year-old Zack finds a home made CD with the word Famous written on it. Lonely and bored while suspended from school, he puts the CD on and loses himself in the music. Zack has sound-color synesthesia. He sees colors when he hears music, and the music on the Famous CD causes incredible patterns of color for him. Zack becomes obsessed with the girl on the CD and tries to find her. He tracks down the singer, Jolene, in a cafe where she works while she dreams of the big time. He convinces her to let him help her achieve her dreams, but soon discovers that in her quest for fame, Jolene has done a lot of damage. Stuff We All Get is a gentle critique of celebrity culture in North America.
Also available in French.
About the author
K.L. Denman was born in Calgary, Alberta, and spent her childhood in a house one street away from the open prairie. When she was 11, her family moved to Delta, British Columbia, and she got to know life on the coast: tides, clam digging, rain gear, green grass year-round and enormous trees. It was there that Kim and her sisters got their first pony. She continued to live near Vancouver for many years while finishing school, attending college, and eventually getting married and starting a family. She always loved writing and when her teen children and their friends provided inspiration and re-kindled memories of this challenging passage, writing for teens became an irresistible venture.
Today she lives on a small farm on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast with her family of people, two dogs, three cats, two horses and an elderly mule. When she's not writing or caring for critters, she's reading, trying to grow vegetables, taking pictures, or volunteering at therapeutic riding. More information about Kim is available on her website at www.kldenman.com.
- Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best"
Excerpt: Stuff We All Get (by (author) K.L. Denman)
The office is a windowless gray cell. The vice-principal across the desk from me says, "A one-week suspension is automatic."
"Orca Currents has once again hit the mark...The setting and plot come together in a very satisfying way. The most powerful element in the text, however, is undoubtedly the emotional honesty of the characters Denman creates...Zack could be a real person, and his responses to the situations he finds himself in resonate with authenticity."
"Zack's story is engaging."
The Horn Book Guide
"A gentle, thought-provoking story on the fickle nature of fame...Denman's story avoids simplified characters, creating a surprisingly layered treatment of media obsession."
"Offers reluctant readers (or those reading below the assigned grade level) an edgy, fast-paced, and thought-provoking storyline written in a very straight-forward, comprehensible style. Highly Recommended."
"This fast-paced story is excellent for reluctant readers. Moreover, the sound-color synesthesia Zack experiences will intrigue many readers. An overall quick read that is recommended for purchase by public libraries."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group