Pay the Piper: A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale

Pay the Piper: A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale

by Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple

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A rock 'n' roll band to die for….

When fourteen year old Callie McCallan scores a backstage pass to interview the lead singer of the famous band Brass Rat, she's thrilled. Peter Gringras is so cool. When he plays his flute, it's as if he has some kind of hypnotic power. But there is something strange about him, something Callie can't quite put her finger on. Then, on Halloween night, Callie's little brother Nicky disappears, along with all the other children in town. It's crazy, but Callie thinks she knows where the children have gone—and who took them. To prove it, and to rescue Nicky and the other children, Callie must journey to a mythical world filled with fantastical creatures. A world from which there may be no return….

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765350411
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 06/27/2006
Series: Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.61(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range: 12 - 15 Years

About the Author

Jane Yolen is one of the most distinguished and successful authors for young readers and adults in the country. The author of more than 250 books, including the immensely popular Devil's Arithmetic, she is the winner of dozens of prestigious awards, among them the World Fantasy Award and two Christopher Medals. She lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts.

Adam Stemple is a professional rock 'n' roll musician who has recorded a number of albums and owns his own music company. While he has had short stories published, Pay the Piper is his first book for young readers, and his first novel collaboration with his mother. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife, Betsy, and their two children.

Read an Excerpt

Pay the Piper

A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale

By Yolen, Jane


Copyright © 2006

Yolen, Jane

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0765350416

Pay the Piper
At last Gringas turned, grinned, and winked at Callie.
"Now, do you have any questions for me, young lady?"
"Um..." she said. It was not a good beginning
"Did you ever get enough money for your wife?" Nick asked suddenly.
Callie flushed. Not because it was a stupid question. In fact it was on her own mental list. But to ask it so baldly. And in that way. And the implication that--since Nick was her little brother--she wanted to know the answer especially was too much.
"Nicky," she said, her voice low, "shut up or go away. Or both."
Gringas looked at her a moment, and it was as if only the two of them existed in all the world. His voice was soft, musical, low. "Be careful what you wish, my lady, for it might come true. And then you will have many years to rue it."


Excerpted from Pay the Piper
by Yolen, Jane
Copyright © 2006 by Yolen, Jane.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Reading Group Guide


Jane Yolen has written more than 270 books, including Caldecott Medal winning Owl Moon and Caldecott Honor Book, The Emperor and the Kite. A songwriter, folklorist, and storyteller, Ms. Yolen has received two Nebula Awards, two Christopher Medals, and the World Fantasy Award, among others. She lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts and St Andrews, Scotland.

Adam Stemple is a professional musician, record producer, and member of several Minneapolis-based bands. An avid writer, Pay the Piper is his first book for children—and his first novel collaboration with his mother, Jane Yolen. 


An ancient legend and a modern mystery converge in this rocking retelling of the Pied Piper fairy tale. When aspiring teen journalist Callie McCallan attends a press conference of the legendary band Brass Rat, she senses something unusual. Backstage after the concert, Callie overhears the band members engaged in a bizarre conversation. Silver, gold, human souls, blood guilt, a mysterious “teind”— what can these strange words mean? And what is the true identity of the mesmerizing band leader Peter Gringras? Determined to unravel the truth behind Brass Rat, Callie stays home on Halloween night to write a school newspaper article about the band. Meanwhile, the rest of the town’s children disappear. While her reporter’s pragmatic instincts do internal battle with memories of folktales told by her grandmother, Callie struggles to sort truth from fantasy as she follows a musical trail in search of the vanished children

This richly layered rendering of the Pied Piper tale cast into modern-day surroundings challenges readers to consider the existence—and, perhaps, importance—of a place where fact and imagination can collide.


The information, activities, and discussion questions which follow are intended to enhance your reading of Pay the Piper. Please feel free to adapt these materials to suit your needs and interests.

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Pay the Piper: A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
raizel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quite acceptable story with a satisfactory outcome; just didn't reach "Yes!" for me. (Unlike Ms. Yolen's All Those Secrets of the World.)
xoxothedancer4life82 More than 1 year ago
this book was so good. i started on saturday and i am done. this book takes you to a world that you want to be and not want to be. i love the charcater callie she is so real and smart.when she get the chance to write and report for her school paper(for the band brass rat) she is happy but there is something wrong with the band will that what it said on the back of the book. and that what it is about but there is more she knows things and she look at the world diffent then the other people in it. then she has to go to this world name(faerie) to get her brother thats mythical and with creatures that you do not want to see in your life. (she is 14 years old and she knows alot of things she looks at what she has to do and she go for it she is brave i was 14 once but if i want to a world like that i wouldn't know what to know . i dont think i would be that brave maybe i don't know ) but she trys to help out the piper(peter) is his name with something he just this character that you hate him in the beinning but then you see him in a new light at the end of the book i dont want to give alot away but if you like fairy tales this has music its funny you should read it and find out for yourself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great I highly reccomend it to any age and for any reader. It was really exciting, you will just want to know more until you know what happend. I also had no idea that it was a true story (with different characters, etc.)
harstan More than 1 year ago
Fourteen-year-old Calcephony ¿Callie¿ McCallan is a school reporter school in Northampton, Massachusetts. She is excited by her job because this assignment enables her to go back stage while the popular rock 'n' roll band, Brass Rat performs. The only setback is that her parents make her bring her brother Nick with her. After listening to a recording by the group, Callie wonders why her classmates ate making such a fuss over this band. That is she wonders until she meets the dynamic lead singer Peter Gringras. His flute playing mesmerizes all who listen including Callie. --- However, on Halloween night as the Brass Rat performs, all the children including her kid brother Nick vanish. Callie thinks she knows why the children have been ¿abducted¿ and plans to rescue them as she plans to follow the magic flute into the land of faerie to make the piper pay, but she will soon learn how ¿faerie justice¿ works. --- The middle school crowd will enjoy this fine version of the Pied Piper starring a wonderful young heroine who risks her life to save her sibling and the other children from the unknown. As the audience learns the truth, feelings towards Peter the Pied Piper will change although he still committed the abductions. Young readers will enjoy the first rock and roll fairy tale while looking forward to future fantasies from this solid mother-son collaboration. --- Harriet Klausner