(and Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother)
A novel by Micol Ostow
Art by David Ostow
Now available from Flux
This ain't your rabbi's music.
Despite his dreams of hipster rock glory, Ari Abramson's first-ever band, the Tribe, is more white bread than indie-cred. Comprised of four suburban teens from a wealthy Jewish day school, their Mötley Crüe is about as hardcore as SAT prep and scripture studies.
But after a one-song gig at a friend's Bar Mitzvah -- a ska cover of Hava Nagila -- the Tribe's popularity erupts overnight. Now, Ari is forced to navigate a minefield of inflated egos, overbearing parents, misplaced romance, and the shallowness of indie-rock elitism. It's a hard lesson in the complex art of playing it cool.
Loaded with sarcasm and delicious pop culture condescension (not to mention David Ostow's too-cool-for-school cartooning work), So Punk Rock is the VH1 Behind the Music story of an epic Jewish band that never was. If it got any more kosher, it'd be totally traif.
"A rollicking, witty, and ultra-contemporary book that drums on the funny bone and reverberates through the heart."
-- Booklist (starred review)
"Funny is hard. Punk rock is harder. And a funny book about punk rock, not to say kosher punk rock? Difficult to the extreme, yet Micol Ostow taps so effectively into the humorous side of a 16-year-old boy's brain that one's jaw is inclined to drop... repeatedly. A downright hilarious read if I do say so myself."
-- Betsy Bird, Fuse #8
"Awesome. Brilliant. Hilarious. So Punk Rock is so good!"
-- Blake Nelson, author of Girl
"Ostow's cutting-edge prose-graphic hybrid is smart, laugh-out-loud witty, and a quirky affirmation of faith and self. Read it, and you'll want to be in a Jewish indie rock band, too!"
-- Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Tantalize
Website: 100% Kosher
The Ostows and I worked very closely together on the website. The site was launched in 2009. David hand-lettered the section titles while Micol and I forgot how to sleep. We filled the site with everything you could possibly want to know about So Punk Rock and the Tribe, including an exclusive excerpt from the book, band member profiles, a gallery of pages from the book, a hilarious glossary of Jewish, musical and otherwise esoteric terms, and more!
* 2011 update: The authors are no longer updating the site for this book, so if you click http://www.kosherpunkrock.com it will simply reroute you to Micol's site.
Check out the rockin' trailer made by Hello King Productions, with music by The Kimballs:
Official Press Release
Contact: Courtney Kish
For Immediate Attention
Sarcasm and Pop Culture Fill the Pages of Flux's First Hybrid Novel
Brother-sister duo create the rise and fall of a punk rock band born at a Jewish day school
"A rollicking, witty, and ultra-contemporary book that drums on the funny bone and reverberates through the heart." - Booklist (starred review)
"Heavy on the Jewish humor, the Ostows successfully balance culture and teen experience with pitch-perfect dialogue paired seamlessly with David Ostow's black-and-white panels." - Kirkus Reviews
ST. PAUL, MINN. - Quirky, fresh and loaded with humor, So Punk Rock (and Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother) is an irreverent take on the theme of religious and personal identity. It is a tale of adolescent angst, romance, and coming-of-age, set to the strains of turn-of-the-twenty-first-century indie rock.
Fusing the techniques of a traditional novel with the highly popular graphic novel art form, So Punk Rock, tells the story of Ari Abramson and his perfect plan to get in with Sari, the girl of his dreams: he’s going to start his own punk rock band. This involves drafting his super-popular and super-conceited best friend, Jonas, an overly kosher drummer, Yossi, and his sassy lead-singing sister, Reena. Together they shoot to the heights of local fame but risk undoing everything when egos (and the Sabbath) get in the way.
Micol Ostow has written more than thirty-five published works for children and young adults. So Punk Rock was inspired by the thirteen years of Jewish day school that she and her brother David experienced. Micol is currently pursuing an MFA in writing through Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaching YA writing up and down the Eastern seaboard. The author resides in New York City.
Illustrator David Ostow was trained as an architect. He currently works at a large design firm in New York City and also illustrates on a freelance basis. So Punk Rock is his first literary endeavor. The author resides in New Jersey.
"Ostow's cutting-edge prose-graphic hybrid is smart, laugh-out-loud witty, and a quirky affirmation of faith and self. Read it, and you'll want to be in a Jewish indie rock band, too!" - Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Tantalize
So Punk Rock (and Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother) by Micol Ostow; art by David Ostow
US $9.95 CAN $11.50 | Paperback Original | ISBN: 978-0-7387-1471-4
PUB DATE: July 2009 | Flux Books | Ages 12 & up
For more information, please visit www.fluxnow.com
Follow the Tribe
Follow Ari on Twitter:
Follow Reena on Twitter:
Friend The Tribe at MySpace:
Download the June Flux podcast:
.m4a (iPod-friendly) file
I also posted about So Punk Rock at GuysLitWire.
Ready for a new read? Not sure if you want a regular novel or a graphic novel next? Pick up SO PUNK ROCK (and Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother), a novel by Micol Ostow with art by David Ostow, which comes out in July, and learn how you can rock on - in a totally kosher way, of course.
Ari Abramson wants to be cool. He thinks being in a band will help, so he recruits three other kids from his Jewish day school: his best friend Jonas, who is cool without even trying, a classmate named Yossi because he has drums, and Yossi's younger sister, Reena, who has a surprisingly good singing voice. Together, they form the Tribe. Soon, they can play a ska version of Hava Nagila. Kind of.
So Punk Rock totally rocks. I dig this hybrid novel. It's funny, it's thoughtful, and it's just plain cool. It will definitely appeal to teen guys AND girls. It reads like a 'normal' book, with chapters and Ari's first-person narration, plus it has black-and-white illustrations: sidebars, pictures of the band members, doodles and lists from Ari's notebook when they're trying to come up with band names, and a hilarious glossary.
As I helped put together the book's website, I must have watched the trailer and re-read portions from the book a dozen times, and I never got tired of any of it. Seriously. And now I'm singing Hava Nagila again...
If you like SO PUNK ROCK, you will also like ROCK ON: A Story of Guitars, Gigs, Girls, and a Brother (Not Necessarily in That Order) by Denise Vega. Trust me. Read my review of Rock On.