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Drum Roll, Please

by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Published by HarperCollins, 2018
320 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-279114-6

Ages 10-13

Melly feels her world rocked in more ways than one in this novel steeped in authentic middle-school turmoil. Immediately before leaving for Camp Rockaway with her best friend Olivia, Melly’s parents announce their impending divorce. Still trying to absorb this news, Melly is plunged into the camp routine. A drummer, she is assigned to a band with three other young musicians, one of who is Adeline. In need of a friend and listening ear, Melly confides in Adeline about her parents’ divorce and is surprised to realize that she’s developing a crush on her new friend. (Olivia, meanwhile, has been neglecting Melly in favor of spending time with a cute boy in her own band.) With Adeline’s help, Melly learns to communicate her feelings about the divorce through a song for her band’s final performance. With a romance perfectly suited to preteen readers, the narrative deftly touches on issues of consent and leaves Melly excited about future self-discovery. The well-drawn music camp setting provides a unique backdrop for this touching portrayal of one girl’s growth over two momentous weeks. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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