Fairy tales and rock music might not seem to go together. But this book, by longtime kids' author Jane Yolen and her rock musician son, Adam Stemple, works like a charm.
It's a retelling of the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, with a rock star as the piper. (One interesting thing you'll learn is that the legend of the Pied Piper is based on an actual event from the 1200s, when a bunch of kids disappeared from a town in what is now Germany. What happened to them is uncertain, but the story has spurred fairy tales, a famous poem by Robert Browning and now this book.)
In "Pay the Piper," teenage school reporter Callie McCallan gets to go backstage to interview Brass Rat, a rock band that has come to her sleepy Massachusetts valley for a benefit concert. Callie notices that the band is kind of weird -- so eerie, in fact, that she has trouble writing about it. When all the kids in her town disappear, Callie realizes that not only is there good reason for her suspicions but also that she is the kids' only hope and perhaps the only mortal with the brains, guts and vision to break a centuries-old curse.