Rocking a balance between stardom and brotherly love in: I AM ED

by R.A. Akerlund

Verdict: I AM ED is a gritty but tender story of the price one young man paid for the sake of brotherhood, family and stardom.

IR Rating



IR Rating

Ed Henderson, left in charge of his brothers when their mother dies, leads them to stardom as a rock band.

Ed Henderson, at age sixteen, wanted to get away from his family and start his own life, until he came home to find his mother dead and his brothers orphaned. Taking charge of things, he works hard to keep the boys together and out of foster care. And when he discovers that they, along with his friend Matt, have the talent to make it as a rock band, he devotes his life to getting them to stardom. The Hendersons become a raving success, despite “bad-boy” Steve’s need to break a heroin addiction and Ed’s relationship difficulties with the mother of his child. But Ed, having always lived for others, finds stardom less than fulfilling, and starts down a dangerous path when he meets wild, lusty Alice. Can his brothers rescue him as he rescued them, and at what cost?

I AM ED is a touching story of brotherly love and the wild world of rock ‘n roll stardom, both heartwarming and heartbreaking at once, told from the point of view of a young man thrust into responsibility and fame before he was ready for it. As the title implies, it’s Ed’s character who sets the tone of the book, and whose complex, appealing, very human personality infuses it from beginning to end.  His courage and willingness to give everything he has for his brothers’ good, and later, his son’s, make him truly admirable despite his flaws. Steve occasionally takes over the speaker role, which both adds a new perspective on Ed and the rest of the family, and sets off the parallels between his story and Ed’s. If the book has a flaw, it’s the skipping-over of the time between the Hendersons’ difficult orphaned childhood and their years as a famous rock band – their rise to stardom is almost too easy and smooth.

I AM ED is a gritty but tender story of the price one young man paid for the sake of brotherhood, family and stardom.


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