Bruce Springsteen, at age 65, is moving into children’s literature and on Nov. 4 will publish his first story entitled “Outlaw Pete.”
A copy of the book, based on his same-named song and with illustrations by Frank Caruso, can be reserved online.
The New Jersey rocker thus joins Madonna and Keith Richards, along with members of The Beatles, who have diversified their talents by expanding from music into children’s literature.
“Outlaw Pete” is the story of an outlaw baby who robs banks and then suffers problems with guilt over the deeds, a plot that inspired the musician’s 2009 8-minute song, which he included on the album “Working on a Dream.”
Now, the tale has been converted into a relatively brief 56 pages in which a moral message for children is presented in a “folk” style, an approach that will satisfy both Springsteen’s music fans and contains adult reflections on U.S. morals and culture.
The publishing house says that, in this tale, Springsteen draws on his experiences as a child, when he learned the history of Brave Cowboy Bill and fell in love with the legend of the Wild West, something that led him to love the films of director John Ford, the work of singer-songwriter Pete Seeger, Mexican music and native U.S. art.
That combination of elements blended together, according to the publishing house, to shape a story “about fate” and it recommended that people read the story and listen to the song, which admittedly is not as well-known as Springsteen’s classics such as “Born in the USA” and “Born to Run.”