A Song for the Road

When a tornado destroys his Tulsa home, fifteen-year-old Carter Danforth is trapped in the pawnshop where his daddy hawked his custom, left-handed Martin guitar six years earlier—and then took off, leaving Carter with nothing but a hankering to pluck strings and enough heartache to sing the blues. Injured by the storm, Carter’s mother is laid up in the hospital. She wants Carter to fly out to Reno and stay with her sister. Too bad Carter already spent her hidden cash stash to buy his dad’s guitar. Rather than tell her the truth, he embarks on an epic road trip in search of his father in Santa Monica. But Carter isn’t a runaway. He reckons he’s a “running to.”

On his way west, Carter picks up licks, chord changes, and performance techniques from a quirky cast of Southwestern charmers: a rock star, a thief, a bluesman, a chanteuse-turned-chef, and the dream of a girl back home. A Song for the Road reads like a mash-up of The Wizard of Oz and Easy Rider—by the time he reaches the end of old US Route 66, Carter has learned how to deep-fry yucca blossoms and tell the truth of his life through music.

Author: Rayne Lacko

Publication Date: August 27, 2019


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“A sweet, twangy tale about a boy finding his future on the way to his past.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“A well-constructed, satisfying read. The characters feel like they have real agency and dimension. Relationships across generations, and class, and genders all feel true. The language is clean, not fussy but never dull. I think the writing about music is expertly handled. The prose is a pleasure to read.”
―Mark Sarvas, author of Memento Park

“I really loved Carter’s gentle sweet soul and the magic of his journey. Really lyrical and exquisite moments; I felt really drawn in by its tenderness and charm. Very nicely done!”
―Noelle August, author of the Boomerang novels

A Song for the Road is a brilliant metaphor for life. That Carter Danforth is one determined young man, and as memorable a hero as you’ll ever find. Bravo, Rayne Lacko!”
—Andre Hardy, former NFL running back

“Carter Danforth, a gifted teen musician, tugs guitar strings and heartstrings in Rayne Lacko’s entertaining new young adult novel, A Song for the Road. Readers will love this inspiring physical and metaphorical journey of growth and self-realization through the American Southwest.”
—Ron Bahar, author of The Frontman

About the Author

Rayne Lacko believes music, language, and art connect us, and she explores those themes in her novels, Listen To Me and A Song for the Road, and the guided journal Dream Up Now, an interactive exploration of emotions for teens. She now resides on a lush, forested island in the Pacific Northwest, where she sits on the board of trustees at a performing arts organization. She cohosts a library youth writing workshop and an annual filled-to-capacity writing camp, and she established Teen Story Slam, a twice-annual spoken word event for teens. Rayne is married with two children (a pianist and a drummer), and she and her family share their home with a noisy cat and their canine best friend.