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Nashville Local’s Latest Turns The Music Up in Vietnam-Era Protest Novel for Teens


ST. PAUL, MN, February 10, 2020 – Flux, an imprint of North Star Editions, Inc. (NSE) is excited to announce the March 10, 2020 release of The Vinyl Underground by Nashville writer and musician, Rob Rufus. The Vinyl Underground is a young adult historical fiction novel about a Vietnam-era ‘Breakfast Club’ who bonds over music and their distaste for the Vietnam war and decides to take a stand against the government and the violent racism in their own town. Rufus’ 2016 debut, the punk-fueled memoir, Die Young With Me, won the ALA/YALSA Alex Award.

More about The Vinyl Underground:

During the tumultuous year of 1968, four teens are drawn together: Ronnie Bingham, who is grieving his brother’s death in Vietnam; Milo, Ronnie’s bookish best friend; “Ramrod,” a star athlete who is secretly avoiding the draft; and Hana, the new girl, a half-Japanese badass rock-n-roller whose presence doesn’t sit well with their segregated high school.

The four outcasts find sanctuary in “The Vinyl Underground,” a record club where they spin music, joke, debate, and escape the stifling norms of their small southern town. But Ronnie’s 18th birthday is looming. Together, they hatch a plan to keep Ronnie from being drafted. But when a horrific act of racial-charged violence rocks the gang to their core, they decide it’s time for an epic act of rebellion.

Book Launch & Record Party
Date: Friday, March 6, 2020
Time: 6:30-7:30 PM
Location: The Bookshop
1043 West Eastland Ave
Nashville, TN 37206
Cost:  Free; books available for purchase.
Details: Bring your favorite vinyl to spin!

The Vinyl Underground by Rob Rufus

See more details and purchasing information

Advance praise and early buzz:

“A novel about grand ideals and hard lessons.” —Kirkus Reviews 

“Few modern-day YA books deal with the complexities of the Vietnam War era, and Rufus does so with up-front honesty, portraying the existential fear that boys like Ronnie faced in the form of the draft.” —Booklist 

“This edgy, counter-culture book will appeal to older students interested in the 60s era, its history and turbulence.” —School Library Connection

“A stirring, thunderous anthem to a wounded nation, reminding us that for an imperfect a place as America is, it gets falling in love and rock’n’roll very right.” —Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King

“This book soulfully and melodically captures a moment in time.” —Romina Russell, author of the NYT-bestselling ZODIAC series

“A moving portrait of courage under fire that comes alive on every single page. This punk anthem is sure to spark a revolution for future generations to come.” —Candace Ganger, author of Six Goodbyes We Never Said

About the author

Rob Rufus is an author, musician, screenwriter, and activist.  His literary debut, Die Young with Me (Touchtone 2016) received the American Library Association’s Alex Award and was named one of The Best Books of The Year by Hudson Booksellers.  It is currently being developed for the screen.  Rob lives in East Nashville, Tennessee, with his geriatric dog and record collection. Catch him on the road or find out more at

About Flux and North Star Editions

Flux publishes diverse young adult fiction. North Star Editions, Inc., publishes fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages that inspires, informs, and entertains. For more information, visit or

Contact: Taylor Kohn
(651) 424-4623

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