Reviews John Lennon and Yoko Ono | ODeary Library

Published on August 10th, 2012 | by Jill


Give Me A Chance

Give Me A Chance is Gail Renard’s real life tale of her meeting with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

What a story! The fantasy of any young-thoroughly-devoted-rock-star-fan come true.

In 1969 in Montreal, Canada, Beatle, John Lennon and his new wife, Yoko Ono, held court from a bed in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, received visitors, gave interviews, all in the interest of raising awareness about the importance of World Peace, and the futility of the Viet Nam  war. Their eight day “Bed-In” attracted world attention and mobs of fans.

Although the celebrities had many guards sixteen year old, Gail Renard (a huge fan) eluded them, climbed 17 flights of stairs, – 16 of them on an outdoor fire escape – knocked on the door of room 1742 – and when Yoko answered asked if she could interview them for her school newspaper.  They invited her in.

Gail hit it off with Yoko’s five-year-old daughter, Kyoko,  and clearly charmed the grown-ups. They invited her to come back every day and she did, entertaining Kyoko and, getting to meet many celebrities of the day.

In her account of her time with them we learn about the famous couple’s genuine commitment to peace, their warmth and kindness, John’s discipline as a musician, the era in general, and we hear all about the making and recording of the song Give Peace a Chance. There are lots of photos taken at the time.

One mild complaint from this Canadian reader: Gail Renard, an award winning writer, lives in London England now, but the story is told from the point of view of her 16 year old self — a Montrealer, born and bred.  So the Britishisms in her vocabulary ring a slightly jarring note. People go to the loo and the cinema, watch the telly, take a lift to another floor, ring their mates and take out the rubbish.

Still, it is all very understandable, a quick and easy read, and inspirational, too. The week with John and Yoko and their friends opened up a world of possibiites for young Gail. John assured his new friend that she could be anything she wanted to be, and since she wanted to be a writer  he made a phone call and arranged for her first professional job.  She never looked back.

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About the Author

's favourite books include The Sound and the Fury, every one of the Harry Potter books, The Fault in Our Stars, The Princess Bride, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and A Little Princess. She wrote her first book -- Chestnut Squirrel Stories -- in fourth grade and has gone on to publish a number of books. She also writes for television and the web.

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