Thirteen-year-old Josh Greenwood is used to splitting time between his divorced mom and dad, especially since they live in different states. This time is different, however, when his grandmother falls and hurts her hip unexpectedly and Josh is rushed off to Chicago to spend time with his dad while his mom is in Florida with his grandmother. To make matters worse, this is all happening at the end of the summer, so Josh has a brand new school in an unfamiliar city to look forward to in the fall.
Josh’s dad has never been what you would call focused and when he shows up at the airport with big black hair in a pompadour and a Hawaiian shirt with bright orange parrots on it, it’s horribly embarrassing, but still doesn’t prepare Josh for the news his dad has for him. The shoe store he worked at for years had to close and when he was laid off he decided to give a different sort of career a try; he is now working as an Elvis impersonator. Naturally, Josh couldn’t be more mortified if his dad was spending his days mowing the lawn in a dress. When the weirdo daughter of his dad’s new girlfriend starts approaching Josh at school in view of everyone, the horror is utterly complete. Pearsall’s writing style is clearly aimed towards younger readers and it’s a fast and easy read, full of funny, painful and touching scenes that keep the reader engaged. All Shook Up brings together a love of music, family, performance and the King.
Recommended for younger teens with an interest in music and a love of the quirky.