Drummer Girl

Drummer Girl

by Karen Bass
     
 

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The Fourth Down needs a drummer, and Sidney's easily the best in the school. But the all-male band has conditions for her to be allowed in—such as dressing like a girl. Accustomed to invisibility, Sid soon discovers the consequences to her makeover. It's not only that playing kit in a skirt is impractical. But as someone once taunted about her sexuality for

Overview

The Fourth Down needs a drummer, and Sidney's easily the best in the school. But the all-male band has conditions for her to be allowed in—such as dressing like a girl. Accustomed to invisibility, Sid soon discovers the consequences to her makeover. It's not only that playing kit in a skirt is impractical. But as someone once taunted about her sexuality for being a drum-playing girl who likes shop class, now Sid is forced to deal with guys who think her new look makes her fair game. Sidney begins to realize the price of compromising who you really are.

Editorial Reviews

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"Fast-paced and gritty...A good look into the life of a modern teenage girl and her journey to find herself. This novel would appeal to readers who enjoy realistic young adult fiction."
The Diary of a Bookworm blog
"An engrossing and enjoyable story. The ugly duckling turn around will appeal to any teen who's struggled to be more average in the high school world where being unique or unusual are particularly hard crosses to bear...Bass's full cast of characters is terrific...I would happily read more about them all and would love to see more of what happens to each of them. Do a young Twilight fan in your book circle a service and add Drummer Girl to their TBR pile. And make sure to grab yourself a copy while you're at it."
Booklist
"While drumming and music are the hooks to reel in readers, drummer-girl Sid and her friends are every high-schooler, and Bass clearly shows the pain of being harassed and bullied...The story's teen voices of pain and eventual courage will ring true to adolescents, whether they're popular, misfits, or a bit of both."
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
Have you ever dreamed of joining a band? Sid's a great drummer, but the cool band in school is an Old Boy's Club. The boys are reluctant to allow Sid to join the band because they are afraid she will become a romantic distraction. Sid refuses to get discouraged and continues to practice her drums. But she can't help feeling down; the boy who is invited to play the drums, Wes, is obnoxious and cannot play very well. Could life get any worse? To complicate her life further, Sid falls for Brad, a cute boy she meets at a wedding, and Sid is not completely sure if she and Taylor can remain friends. Can a boy and girl just be friends? Sid's home life is not great; her mother left the family 15 years ago, and her father doesn't know how to deal with female issues. Sid's life takes a permanent turn for the worse when someone puts a film of her kissing boys online. Just when everything feels hopeless, Sid learns to follow the beat of her own drum and become the best person she can be. Young readers will enjoy the unique storyline which challenges gender conventions. Sid is a memorable, upbeat, persistent character who finds her place in the world in this coming-of-age novel. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Sid dresses a little butch, loves woodworking class, and plays awesome heavy metal music on her drum set. The popular guys at school accuse her of being gay and not admitting it. Someone sends a lesbian to ask her out on a date. The truth is, though, that Sid isn't gay. Bass doesn't tell readers definitively that the teen is straight for a significant part of the novel. Sid is desperate to join the really hot band that the popular guys formed, and they need a drummer. She tries out, as does her main tormentor, a jock. The bullying increases to a serious level. Sid tries to be more "girly" as per the band's request but that leads to problems with her best friend; he is angry with her for bowing to the suggestion. Although the narrative is often a bit heavy-handed, the characters are interesting and the story moves quickly. This is an unusual take on gender roles and peer pressure.—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews

A girl obsessed with music must deal with sexual harassment as she struggles to fit in with a band.

Sixteen-year-old Sidney wants only one thing: to become the new drummer for her area's hottest rock band. The band doesn't want a girl drummer no matter how well she can play, though, because they think she might cause dissension among their group. Given a chance to audition for them, Sid proves she's the best drummer, but still the band hesitates. They tell Sid she needs to ditch her tomboy appearance and look more attractive. Desperate, Sid calls on her clothes-horse cousin to help her buy a new wardrobe—only to face ridicule at school, especially from a rival drummer, when she appears with her radically new, rather sexy image. Sid finds a nice romance with a "math geek" but still faces discomfort at school. However, when the band members lure her into a compromising position and then circulate a video of their attack on her, she finally begins to rely on the school counselor who's trying to help her. Bass' portrayal of the harassment is relatively mild, but she doesn't downplay its seriousness, either. She keeps her characters real and demonstrates just how sexual harassment can damage the lives of everyone involved.

Fast paced and insightful, a good choice for teen readers, especially those interested in music. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781550504620
Publisher:
Coteau Books
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
HL620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

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