Josh is barely used to being thirteen when his life in Boston is interrupted by his grandmother. She’s had an accident and Josh’s mom needs to head off to Florida to take care of her. Josh isn’t heading off to Florida with her though. He’s heading to Chicago to stay with his dad for several weeks until his mom gets back. Josh is sure he’s going to hate being with his dad for so long, but what else can he do? He’s only thirteen, right?
Arriving at the airport, he’s hardly surprised not to find his dad there waiting for him. His dad isn’t exactly the on-time type. Josh is busy collecting his luggage and doesn’t see his dad at first. Then he does, and there is definitely something different about him. The hair for one thing. It used to be light brown and thinning a little on the top. Now it’s jet black with huge sideburns. And he doesn’t look at all like a shoe salesman. He’s sporting a Hawaiian shirt with orange parrots all over it and tight jeans (ugh!); as if that isn’t bad enough, he’s wearing his white sneakers without socks.
Josh isn’t sure what to tell his dad when he asks him how he looks. You can’t just up and tell your dad he looks wierd, can you? Josh is in a hurry to get to the car. But as they’re leaving the airport two women walk by them and one is real excited and she says real loud to the other one–Look at that guy back there; he looks just like Elvis. Elvis?
That’s when Josh realizes what’s happened to his dad. He’s turned into the King. Josh knows that having a dad who impersonates Elvis for a living is probably the single most embarrassing thing that could happen to anyone. How is he going to survive in Chicago until it’s time to go back home?
Shelley Pearsall has written an engagingly humorous book about the changing relationship between father and son. In All Shook Up, Josh finds himself leading a life he never would have imagined in Boston, and yet when all is said and done, he may find it hard to break away.