Dear Bruce Springsteen by Kevin Major consists of fifty-one letters written by fourteen-year-old Terry Blanchard to Bruce Springsteen
over a seven-month period.
Terry writes to the American rock superstar, he says, because ''there's nobody I really feel like talking to'' and ''my old
man and you must be about the same age.'' The latter point is significant, for Terry's father had abandoned his family
some six months before to play in a country music band, leaving Terry to share an apartment with his working mother
and younger sister. Realizing that Springsteen will likely never reply, Terry sees his letters, which generally range in length
from one to four pages, ''getting to be almost like a diary,'' though, oddly, the letters sometimes include lengthy passages
of direct conversation.
The letters' contents consist of the egocentric stuff of adolescence: teacher problems, poor grades, anxieties over girls,
physique and being different, dreams, idealism and loneliness. The theme of a boy's trying to ''find'' his father runs through
Terry's correspondence. The adult Springsteen serves as a role model for Terry, but Terry also finds similarities between
the singer's adolescence and his own, including Springsteen's alienation from his ''drifter'' father. Frequently, Terry
mentions specific Springsteen songs that had significance for him, and readers who have access to the lyrics will find the
book's meaning enriched.
Although aspects of a subplot involving a school lip-sync contest seem contrived, the book is a most worthy addition to
middle school and young adult collections.
More Books by Kevin Major