Today, I am happy to participate in the blog tour for Chin Music being hosted by TLC Book Tours and am even happier to be sharing with you a wonderful, insightful guest post by the author, Lee Edelstein.
After reading Chin Music, I knew that this book would find a place in high school classrooms and libraries (as I shared in my Chin Music book review on Tuesday) and I wanted to hear how he sees his book being used in classrooms and which students he sees "needing" his book the most:
Chin Music. An unusual title for a book, especially if you’re a young adult, not a baseball fan, and don’t get the lingo. Ugh, baseball, you say. BORING! My students won’t like it, especially the girls. Sorry, not interested.
But just as you know not to judge a book by its cover, don’t judge it by its title, either. And, while there’s a baseball theme to the story, I assure you that Chin Music – its characters, story line, the very essence of the book – has less to do with baseball and everything to do with the human condition. If you would like your students to learn about adversity – that it is part of life, that people react to it in different ways, that it doesn’t have to define you, and that it can be overcome – give them Chin Music to read.
In baseball terms, chin music refers to a ninety-five mile per hour fastball thrown at a hitter’s chin. Its purpose? Disrupt the hitter’s concentration; throw him off kilter. Of course, there’s a split second’s difference between getting in the batter’s head and hitting it, causing serious damage or worse. In a larger sense, I use chin music as a metaphor for that split second when our lives are irrevocably changed and our destinies are forever altered. It doesn’t have to be a fastball thrown at your head. It can be a phone call in the middle of the night, a visit to the doctor, a momentary lapse in judgment. We’ve all experienced chin music in one form or another. And, if they haven’t as yet, so will your students.
Adversity – hardship, misfortune - is something all of us must contend with; some more than others, since adversity isn’t dealt out in measured doses. If we have dreams that require us to be more than who we are and reach beyond ourselves, then we will likely know adversity as we strive to achieve those dreams. Sometimes, we don’t have to do a thing and adversity finds us. At times, adversity is nothing more than an annoyance, a temporary setback. It can also be devastating and forever. Importantly, how we deal with adversity when it presents itself often times defines our lives.
The main characters in the book face gut-wrenching chin music; a few of the “fastballs” that come their way cause terrible harm and disruption. The repercussions are life altering. Family members, facing a common disaster, respond in dramatically different fashion.
Fair warning: there are no vampires, zombies, terrorists, serial killers, superheroes, or pandemics in Chin Music. Just ordinary people, leading ordinary lives, who are visited by tragedy, respond in uneven fashion, and, in the aftermath, unexpectedly find themselves caught up in an adventure of a lifetime that will test and challenge them in startling ways (all the while, holding your students’ interest).
Because they are ordinary people, it is my hope that your students will relate to the characters in the story and, along the way, perhaps see a bit of themselves, as well. If, as they’re reading Chin Music, your students find themselves nodding their heads in agreement, shedding a tear or two at certain moments, feeling a chill run down their spine, or wanting to stand up and cheer, then I will have achieved my objective.
Chin Music isn’t about baseball. It’s about us.
Thank you to Lee and TLC Book Tours for having TMT be part of promoting this unique book,
**Please check out TLC Book Tours for more info about Chin Music & the blog tour**