Saturday 12 June 2021

The Right Way to Rock

The Right Way to Rock by Nat Amoore (Puffin) PB RRP $14.99 ISBN9781760897703

Reviewed by Kathleen Grace

Mac Cooper is very much into Broadway musicals. He is a master of adapting the words to popular musicals which is printed through this book which is about the rocking story of two new friends, one arts fiasco, and a whole lot of music. Without music, Mac believes the world is just blah. His Mum, who is a singer and manager of The Garage, a live music venue, says rock is the only music worth listening to, but Mac thinks everyone should find their own beat. However, there’s now a rumour that his school principal Mr Keiren plans to cut all of the arts classes at Watterson Primary. Thus, there's no way Mac and his new mate Flynn are going to let that happen. They’re dragging their Secret Society of Musical Appreciation Society into the spotlight.

Interestingly, Mac’s friend Flynn has Tourette’s syndrome, something which this reviewer has never seen before in a book for children. Flynn’s dialogue is peppered with the words ‘Gherkin’, ‘Whoop’ and ‘Stop.’ Despite Flynn's disorder, he and Mac get on fine. Before long the two have decided that Watterson Primary School needs a musical, to be called Watterson: The Musical

Another interesting aspect of this novel is its presentation: it is written in Acts and Scenes which appeared at the front of the book with sub-titles such as ‘Good Morning Watterson’, ‘School, Glorious School,’ and ‘We’ve Got to Sing a Song or Two,’ and so on. The final Act (Act three, Scene Five) is titled ‘The Grand Finale.’                          

Nat Amoore was a recipient of the CBCA Maurice Saxby Creative Development Program for 2018. In February 2018, Nat (along with fellow hosts Kate and Liz) launched kidlit podcast One More Page (, which was a finalist in the 'Best Newcomer' category for the 2018 Australian Podcast Awards. 

This fast-paced novel, Amoore’s latest, is likely to be enjoyed by readers aged 9+ years who are into music.

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