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Memoir of Punk Rocker's Battle with Cancer Highlights Music as a Source of Strength for Life

Updated on August 19, 2016
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Memoir of Punk Rocker Rob Rufus will Hit Home with Many in the YA Audience

Rob Rufus will debut his memoir in September 2016 with his compelling story of his battle with cancer. "Die Young with Me" is his true story of how his music helped him tackle his disease and grow his music career. Rob and his twin brother were teenagers in a small West Virginia town when they decided that their interest in punk rock music was a calling that they wanted to pursue. They were excited to learn of an opportunity to play at the Warped Tour rock festival, but were hit with the shocking news of Rob's diagnosis of stage 4 cancer. Rob and his family were forced to cope with the possibility that his life would be cut short.

Rufus writes of the hideous treatments that he endured along with details of the pain of his disease. His story will engage the YA audience who have family members with cancer. He also writes about his career with the punk rock music genre as a source of strength. Rufus is now cancer-free and continues his career with his band, Blacklist Royals. He has released two albums and has toured in sixteen countries over the past five years. "Die Young With Me" is a story that will draw YA readers into a real life event that teaches a life skill and the idea that music can help with life's dark moments..

A Compelling Read for the YA Audience

A real-life memoir for the YA audience
A real-life memoir for the YA audience | Source

Punk Rocker's Memoir is One That Many in the YA Audience Will Relate To


What Do YA Readers Want in a Good Read?

Novels and memoirs written for the teen and young adult audiences have grown more popular in the past ten years. Teenagers and young adults from ages 12-18 want books that have real-life appeal. Readers in this age group want compelling stories with believable characters and plots that are highly engaging. The YA audience wants characters that they can relate to in plots that feature life events that teens and young adults encounter in their own life. They want to feel real along with the characters. They want characters who see the world through a typical teen and young adult's eyes. Even if they cannot relate to a character, they always know someone in their world who is similar to the character. The YA audience wants a book that will present ideas to help them deal with their own life events. All of these characteristics meet the criteria for a good read that teens and young adults will choose.

Rob Rufus Discusses His Memoir

Rufus has an album with the same name as his memoir. He believes that his book is more engaging because unlike the music lyrics from his album of the same name, the written story does not leave any room for interpretation from the reader. The book is straightforward with compelling details that are real.

Rufus has been asked if his new memoir that will come out in September was helpful in his recovery from treatment for cancer. He believes that writing the book was a huge part of "owning" this life event and helping him to go forward. He also says that he thinks that his career as a punk rocker with tattoos sometimes played a part in getting treatment. He wondered at times about what the doctors thought and considered the fact they may have thought at times that all he wanted was pain pills.

Rufus hopes that his memoir will give a real picture to cancer patients and their caregivers and help others to have empathy for anyone who they might know that has cancer. He plans a follow-up to "Die Young With Me".

Motto That Readers Can Take From "Die Young With Me"

Rufus believes that his music carried him through with his cancer treatment and while writing his book
Rufus believes that his music carried him through with his cancer treatment and while writing his book | Source

Favorite genres for the YA audience

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Playlist That Carried Rufus Through His Illness

Rufus compiled a playlist of music that he felt related to his memoir. Readers will find the playlist to be of interest. This is a partial list of his choices for music that carried him through.

1. "No Revolution" by The Explosion

2. "Same Old Story" by Pennywise

3. "Look Back and Laugh" by Minor Threat

4. "Everready" by H2O

5. "I Wanna Live" by The Ramones

6. "Paper Thin" by Hot Water Music

7. "Where Eagles Dare" by The Misfit

8. "Cool Kids" by Screeching Weasel


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