Released June 5, 2008 in the USA by Paw Prints is the children's book "All Shook Up - The Life and Death of Elvis Presley" by Barry Denenberg (ISBN: 1435298233 / 9781435298231). The book was originally released in 2001.
Synopses and Reviews
Born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Aaron Presley was destined to rewrite the history of music almost from the moment he picked up a guitar. He played music that was rooted in blues, gospel, country and rockabilly, and he redefined a generation by breaking down the boundaries that separate white from black.Everyone listened to Elvis. Everyone danced to Elvis. Everyone had an opinion about Elvis. And the fame was nice, but it came so fast. The money. The cars. The screaming fans. Somewhere in all that, the singer from Tupelo got lost-and that's the saddest song of all.
Born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Aaron Presley was destined to rewrite the history of music almost from the moment he picked up a guitar. He played music that was rooted in blues, gospel, country and rockabilly, and he redefined age
The life story of the legendary King of Rock and Roll is told in this age-appropriate biography that makes an ideal introduction for youngsters to Elvis Presley's contributions to the world of music, as well as the tragic results of his enormous fame.
When he was 11, Barry Denenberg heard a song he thought was called ''Marsha Cup'' and fell in love with the ''hiccupy, honeycombed voice delivering those profound lyrics.'' The song was actually ''All Shook Up'' and the voice, of course, was that of Elvis Presley.
With that anecdote Denenberg sets the tone for a biography well attuned to the way kids hear music and sometimes become fascinated with the people who make it. He also writes with a bravado to match his subject; the book is conversational and opinionated (sometimes too much so). ''All Shook Up'' traces the arc of Elvis's life and career, from his childhood in Mississippi through his meteoric rise to music and movie star to his almost equally precipitous decline into a washed-up Vegas lounge act. Scattered throughout are wonderful photographs -- dropped in the middle of paragraphs and left without captions, so they feel more like part of the story than simply exhibits.
Denenberg is forthright but delicate about Elvis's drug use, explaining how the pressures of fame fueled the star's growing addictions. Instead of moralizing, he takes the young reader into his confidence, peppering the book with propositions like ''You know how it is'' and ''Can you imagine?''
But it's no easy task to explain the phenomenon of Elvis to a generation (and their parents) who grew up on Michael Jackson and Britney Spears. This was ''before everyone was a star and every star a superstar,'' Denenberg writes. Before Elvis, he explains, ''black music was separate from white music'' and ''there was no such thing as 'teenage music.' '' Denenberg may go a bit too far when he writes that after Elvis, ''American music and culture would never be the same,'' but he does a good job of contrasting the culture from which Elvis emerged with the one he left behind. By the end of the book he may even have young readers believing the John Lennon quotation emblazoned on the book's inside jacket: ''Before Elvis, there was nothing.''
Reviewed by Nora Krug