1. This person was a member of the Future Teachers of America in high school.
2. This person once worked as a keypunch operator at a phone company.
3. This person's apartment was "furnished with Victorian fru fru," according to a former companion.
Need another clue?
4. Someone who knew this person said that this person "paved the way for people like Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Fiona Apple, Pink, and Lady Gaga..."
Did you guess Janis Joplin? Yeah, that's right. Author Ann Angel covers both the mundane and the sensational in a new young-adult biography, Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing. Given Joplin's struggles with drugs and alcohol and eventual death from an overdose at twenty-seven—all of which Angel talks about (how could she not?)—-Janis is obviously no role model, but her journey from Port Arthur, Texas, misfit to rock-and-roll icon certainly gives young readers both plenty to think about and a window onto the sixties. Musically inclined kids especially will eat this quick read right up.
Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing has been nominated for a Cybils award in the middle grade/young adult nonfiction category. The introduction by Joplin's band mate Sam Andrew is one of the best essays about an artist I've read in eons.
Angel, Ann. Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing. Amulet Books. 2010.