Shy but talented Orion Taylor dreams of rock glory so when his Yet-To-Be-Named garage band has a chance to compete in the high school Battle of the Bands, he throws himself into his music. Just as he’s beginning to find his voice and confidence, his disillusioned older brother, Del, returns home and seems determined to sabotage his life and dreams. Can Ori learn to believe in himself enough to fight for his music, the girl he loves (and come up with a band name) before it’s too late?
Ages 12 and up, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13: 978-0316133104 (Hardcover), 978-0316133098 (Paperback)
Let’s have fun together! I love to visit with kids for school or library visits, family literacy nights, book fairs, and more.
Visit Ori's Site!
Check out the band site, Colorado Rocks! Here you’ll find excerpts from the band’s blog in the book along with cool videos and downloads. So, if you loved the book, you’ll love getting to know Ori and the band on Colorado Rocks.
Kudos and Awards
- Finalist, Colorado Book Award for Young Adult Literature
Ori’s honest voice will have readers caring about the outcome…Blog entries from the band’s Web site are interspersed, giving an amusing glimpse of the drama among the band’s budding groupies, while third-person flashbacks to Ori’s younger days take readers behind the music—and behind Ori and Del’s strained relationship.- Publishers Weekly
In this thoughtful tale, sibling rivalry is taken to the next level. Both Ori and Del prove to be likable characters in their own respective ways… A true strength of this title proves to be supporting character Gwyn, who is seamlessly integrated into the story without making her deafness debilitating.- School Library Journal
Vega has imbued her tale with well-developed characters…readers will appreciate Ori’s gently self-deprecating humor and the lively Web postings and texts woven throughout that help tell the story.- Kirkus Reviews
Enhance the Experience with Classroom Activities!
Rock On is a wonderful book to share with your class, for story time at your library, or at home.
Explore the educational and fun activities I offer.
Fun and Educational Resources
Want to use this book in your classroom? Check out the downloadable resources!
FAQs About ROCK ON
It’s clear you love music. Do you play any instruments or write music?
I don’t write music, but I’ve always written poetry so thought writing lyrics would be easy. But it’s actually a different process in many ways. You have to remember that there will be a singer/musician involved who can stretch or shrink a word or phrase to make it cover several beats of music or very few. When I first wrote the lyrics for “Waiting for You,” I worked really hard to get the rhyme and meter just right. But then I read two books on lyric writing and started over completely with the song! Not only did I leave room for the music, but I was lucky enough to have very talented singer-songwriters who brought a vision to the song that I didn’t have. It was wonderful!
Is there a song or band that inspired the idea for this book?
This is the first time you’ve written a book with a male as the main character. Was it harder to write from the male perspective?
Is Orion like you at all?
How long did it take you to write Rock On?
Did anything in this book happen to you?
Are any of the characters based on people you know?
Orion’s talent is based on my brother, John, who had a few guitar lessons but has basically always played by ear. John wrote his own songs, wrote and starred in a musical when he was in high school, and later was in a band when he lived in San Diego. Unlike Orion, though, my brother has no problem performing in public!