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Rock the Boat

Rock the Boat

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Rock the Boat

3.5/5 (12 valutazioni)
124 pagine
46 minuti
Mar 1, 2015


Webb believes that if you want to reach your dreams, you have to live life loud. Bring the roof down. Rock the boat. Make sure that when you look back, you have no regrets. But when a shady music producer steals one of Webb’s songs, Webb finds out how hard it is for a kid on his own in Nashville to get justice. With the help of an unlikely ally, Webb discovers that he has what it takes to succeed: talent, determination and some good friends.
Mar 1, 2015

Informazioni sull'autore

Sigmund Brouwer has written more than 100 books for readers of all ages including the 2015 Arthur Ellis Award-winning novel Dead Man's Switch (Harvest House). He is the author of the Justine McKeen series and the Howling Timberwolves series in the Orca Echoes line. He visits over 150 schools per year, speaking to over 60,000 students. Sigmund lives in Red Deer, Alberta.

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Rock the Boat - Sigmund Brouwer



Table of Contents























Webb was desperate to come up with some great lyrics.

The dark air felt like sweet clover.


The dark air tasted like sweet clover.

No. Neither of those images was right. He wasn’t sure why. The verbs maybe? Felt was a useless word. How about The dark air enveloped him like sweet clover?

Nope. It wasn’t the verb’s fault. Okay, enveloped wasn’t that great, but it was the sweet-clover comparison that hurt the phrase. And maybe it should be dark night air, because dark air by itself didn’t convey the same emotional tone. Get shut in a closet and you’re in dark air. Dark, dry, stale air. Not at all like the still night air that surrounded him as he sat on the deck of the houseboat in a lawn chair with frayed nylon straps that had stretched with age. His butt was only a couple of inches from the deck, but he wasn’t going to write lyrics about that.

So there he was, just before midnight on a Monday night, sitting in a saggy lawn chair in air that was heavy with humidity and may or may not have felt or tasted like sweet clover. He shook his head and rolled his eyes, mocking himself and his cheesy stab at the beginning lyrics of a song.

He reached over to a plate on a nearby lawn chair and grabbed a chunk of watermelon, telling himself to enjoy the moment instead of trying to find a way to express how the moment made him feel.

He had no problem admitting that he felt amazing.

Most nights he sat in the same lawn chair in the same spot in the same solitude, looking through a gap in the rocks that led out to the deep brown waters of the Cumberland River. When it rained, he sat under a big umbrella.

The houseboat was moored in a small harbor cut into the banks of the river. About three miles downstream was downtown Nashville, and when the occasional barge passed by, he thought about the crew’s first view of the city skyline and wondered if the sight of it made them as breathless as it did Webb. Even after being in Nashville for weeks.


Webb thought it would be pretty cool if he could go back in time and visit the kid he was at thirteen—a kid playing the same J-45 Gibson acoustic guitar for the same reasons Webb played it now.

To get lost in the rush of music. To feel the scrape of the pick against nylon and steel, the pressure of callused fingertips against the frets, holding a chord the perfect length of time and letting the note of that chord meld into the next.

The difference was that thirteen-year-old Webb could only dream about Nashville. Seventeen-year-old Webb was there.

Webb bit into the watermelon and didn’t care that juice dribbled down onto his T-shirt. He was thinking about chasing dreams. There was a song in that. But it had been done a million times. So the big question was, could he write a hook excellent enough to justify yet another song about kids who yearn for bigger things?

It wasn’t just the still, scented air that made this moment amazing: it was the moon. Webb had been on the upper deck of the houseboat on dozens of nights, but this was the first time the moon had risen right in the gap in the rocks that led to the river.

It was kind of like Stonehenge, he realized. Mystical.

Warm night air. Chirping crickets. The slap of tiny waves against the houseboat. Slight swaying of the lawn chair as the water cradled the boat. The taste of watermelon juice drying on his lips. The aloneness that was bigger than loneliness. With that big, timeless moon creeping upward from the river, slowly pulling away from its reflection on the water as if even the moon was reluctant to leave Nashville and all that it promised.

Webb watched the moon and knew he’d never forget this feeling.

A swell of river water came from what seemed like nowhere, and the houseboat began to rock. That reminded him of all the times he’d heard the phrase don’t rock the boat. Like it was a bad thing to rock the boat. Because everyone wanted the boat to be safe and stable and predictable.

Well, Webb thought, he wouldn’t be here in this moment if he hadn’t been prepared to rock the boat. The moment he was living was one he’d remember when he was an old man. He didn’t want to look back wishing he’d—

Then he had it. Live in the moment.

The whole sweet-clover thing wasn’t working only because the lyrics were bad. The idea behind the song didn’t work. Sometimes you had to try something that didn’t work to find something that did. You had to rock the boat. Live life loud. Bring the roof down. Walk the high wire. Not look back and regret what you didn’t try.

It wasn’t a new concept for a song, but a fresh way of presenting it began to unfold in his head. He scrambled to grab his guitar, because he could already hear the melody to go with the lyrics that tumbled through his brain.

You have to know we’re gonna walk the high wire

Maybe playing with some hot fire

We spell our names like trouble

But you know we’re gonna love it.

Yeah, we’re gonna rock the boat

That’s the only way to know

We’re gonna have to rock the boat

Yeah, that’s the only way to go.

An hour later, long after the moon had climbed to the center of the sky, Webb had finished the entire song. He didn’t need to write it

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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Early Reviewers copy. Sorry I haven't done the review yet. Was able to read in two days. Really enjoyed it even though it's written more, for young people. Hope to have it done shortly.
  • (4/5)
    For the short length, the story was relatively well written.. The plot was interesting, and even managed to have a few twists and turns. The book is written for a younger audience, so I would suggest it to anyone in middle school / junior high. Overall, an enjoyable book when you want a quick, light read.
  • (4/5)
    This was more a short story (I read it in about an hour) than a full book. However, for a young adult novel, it was an interesting read. The main character, who is taken advantage of while trying to break into the music business in Nashville, is likeable and intriguing. Chance meetings and fate lead to circumstances that help him deal with those that are trying to steal his dream. Overall, enjoyable.
  • (3/5)
    Another chapter in the life of Webb who we first meet in Brouwer's contributions to the Seven series and The Seven Sequels. This time Webb has made it to Nashville and has been working with the music producer with whom his deceased grandfather had arranged to handle Webb's budding career. Unfortunately, greed and dishonesty are the name of the game and Webb finds himself being taken advantage of.A fast-paced story that seems more like an episode than a complete novel will appeal to the reluctant readers that it was designed to attract. The premise is a realistic story that could, and probably does, happen to inexperienced teenagers looking to head out on their own in search of fame. The fairytale ending however, is a bit far-fetched.
  • (3/5)
    How does a struggling musician break into the scene when producers, studio musicians, and even other singers are against him? Is Nashville simply too hard for a seventeen-year-old to make it? Do honesty and integrity count for anything in the competitive world of popular music? These questions and others arise in Sigmund Brouwer's new novel ROCK THE BOAT, part of the Orca Limelights series for YA readers.ROCK THE BOAT continues the story of Webb, whom readers might have met in Orca's SEVEN series or its sequels. Webb is a singer and songwriter. His grandfather, the mysterious David McLean, has paid for him to make a professional recording with a Nashville producer, but things keep going wrong. Costs are higher than promised. The process is slower than Webb expected. Then a nasty rumour surfaces, and Webb finds himself friendless in an uncaring city. Now he's struggling to make things right before he runs out of money.This book should appeal to readers in upper elementary and junior high. It's a fun, quick, easy read, and Webb is an identifiable character. Webb has had a difficult life, so the book offers lots of emotion and drama — and also a potential love interest. The Limelights series is intended for young readers interested in the performing arts, and this plot fits squarely in that box. I found the story somewhat obvious, but the writing is restlessly paced, so readers will be pulled along regardless. The author has certainly created space for further stories about this emerging musician and his experiences. ROCK THE BOAT should hook any reader who has dreams of musical stardom.