×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Notes from an Accidental Band Geek
     

Notes from an Accidental Band Geek

4.4 41
by Erin Dionne
 

See All Formats & Editions

From the author of Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies comes a middle grade novel hailed by Linda Urban as “A perfect blend of laugh out loud funny and real-world heart.”
 
Elsie Wyatt wants to be an orchestra superstar, like her dad and grandfather. The first step? Get into a super-selective summer music camp. In order to

Overview

From the author of Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies comes a middle grade novel hailed by Linda Urban as “A perfect blend of laugh out loud funny and real-world heart.”
 
Elsie Wyatt wants to be an orchestra superstar, like her dad and grandfather. The first step? Get into a super-selective summer music camp. In order to qualify, Elsie must “expand her musical horizons” by joining her high school’s marching band. Not only does this mean wearing a plumed hat and polyester pants, but it also means she can’t play her own instrument, can’t sit down, and can’t seem to say the right thing to anyone…let alone Jake, the cute trumpet player she meets on the first day. Plus, everything she does seems to cause a disaster. Surviving marching band is going to be way harder than Elsie thought.
 
For fans of funny, realistic, every-girl novels like Wendy Mass’s 13 Gifts and Lisa Greenwald’s My Life in Pink&Green.


“It has humor, heart, and a touch of romance that will provide ample fodder for booktalks.”—School Library Journal
 
“Marching-band kids everywhere will enjoy this believable celebration of a life-changing, musical rite of passage.”—Kirkus

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Elsie has one passion in life—her French horn—and her dream is to play in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, like her father and grandfather before her. The key to achieving that dream is getting accepted into Shining Birches, a prestigious summer music camp that requires potential players to participate in a musical ensemble, which is why Elsie joins her school marching band. Although band is beneath her musical taste, she will do anything to show her father that she can make it into Shining Birches. But from the first moment, the goofy, high-energy, and high-intensity band is nothing like Elsie expected. This kind of coming-of-age story, about a girl so focused on a goal that she's forgotten to make friends, has been told before, but Dionne (The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet) brings heart and humor to the subject, making it fresh, relatable and fun. A subplot with Elsie trying to impress her father loses steam, but Elsie's band adventures will have readers rooting for her every high step of the way. Ages 10–up (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“It has humor, heart, and a touch of romance that will provide ample fodder for booktalks.” — School Library Journal

“Marching-band kids everywhere will enjoy this believable celebration of a life-changing, musical rite of passage.” — Kirkus

Children's Literature - Jennifer Waldrop
Elsie Wyatt knows what she is going to do with her life; she has been born into a family of professional French Horn players, and all she wants to do is continue the tradition. However, attaining that goal is a bit more complicated than she expected. If she wants to get into the summer music camp that she needs to, she has to diversify her musical portfolio. In short, she has to join the marching band. Readers who have never been exposed to the madness that is a marching band can still relate to Elsie's difficulty in adjusting to a new environment. They may not have had to cluck to fit in, but the growing process that comes with learning to embrace change is universal. Elsie is not always likeable as she struggles to break out of the mold her preconceived notions have created, but her various failures and successes still make for enjoyable reading.
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Elsie has her career path all mapped out: she will become the principal French horn player for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, just like her father and grandfather. The 13-year-old's life has revolved around this single focus for years. It hasn't left much time or space for learning to read people or navigate social situations. All that changes when she grudgingly joins marching band and, against all odds, falls in love with it. This self-absorbed, socially awkward narrator who celebrates a good day by cranking out Beethoven on the stereo will present a few hurdles for many readers. The best potential audience will be kids who have at least a passing knowledge of music. Those who get past Elsie's obsession with the French horn and the fact that she turns snappish under pressure will be sure to identify with the scenes of mortal embarrassment that are the hallmarks of young teen life. Who wouldn't want to die on the spot if dubbed "Zombie Chicken" by a whole group of people you just met and with whom you'll be spending the next nine months? While this novel isn't for everyone, it has humor, heart, and a touch of romance that will provide ample fodder for booktalks.—Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin, IL
Kirkus Reviews

Can a serious French horn player ever find happiness in marching band?

Thirteen-year-old Elsie starts out determined not to like her high-school marching band. She's only joined because she needs some ensemble experience before auditioning for the prestigious Shining Birches musical summer camp. One humiliation follows another, many caused by her absolute inability to empathize with those around her, all leaving her frustrated and ashamed. Her problem is understandable: She's pretty convinced that her future hangs solely on the quality of her musical ability, so she's never focused on other people, just practice and more practice. But the transcendent joys of marching band—the intense camaraderie of hours and hours of marching in the hot sun, learning how to stay in straight lines, play clearly, follow drill formations and myriad other details that will ring perfectly true for marching-band geeks—gradually change Elsie's mind. At the same time, she learns, through some trial and mostly error, more effective ways to deal with her controlling parents, manage the stress of adjusting to high school and, most importantly, make friends. At times, Elsie's introspection is painful, as she overanalyzes the nuances of every relationship, but it is simultaneously realistic.

Marching-band kids everywhere will enjoy this believable celebration of a life-changing, musical rite of passage. (Fiction. 11 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101529409
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
09/01/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
601,390
Lexile:
770L (what's this?)
File size:
417 KB
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Erin Dionne lives in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Notes from an Accidental Band Geek 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book. You should read this book if you like realistic fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My best friend and i both read this book. As underclassmen of our high school marching band we both laguhed at the reality of this book! And whats ironic my beat friend playd the mellophone/french horn! I recomend it to everyone even if you arent in marching band.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book by this author. She really connects with herreadera
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all erins books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im in band thats why i got this book yet i dont like to read i loved this book a lot she plays the french horn i play the trumpet so i kind of feel like we have something in common but i think every one she read this book its some thing to read about
bannabunchbuuny More than 1 year ago
This book was really good, but kind of slow for me ( i was flipping through the pages to find out about elsie and henry!) I'm in band too and i could really relate to most of the book but it was really specific so it might've been hard for people who dont know alot about music to read it. oh yeah, and about the band ( spoiler!) playing at the thanksgiving parade.... it was sort of rushed you know? dont you have to practice YEARS for that? And it was kind of ridiculous when Elsie had that "temper tantrum"..... But the book was pretty good besides all that.
Mark Nicholson More than 1 year ago
I love this author, and I can't wait for this book!!!! I am a french horn player myself!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have the hardbook cover of this book. Its the best book ive ever read. I highly suggest it. My boyfriend plays french horn n i play clarinet. We both hve the biggest passson for band. I hope u do 2 cause basicly band saved my life.....n if i would of quit b then a very big chance that i wouldnt of got togethr wirh my boyfriend...the best kind of love is love from your musical family. I will never regret starting band. Music i th beat of my heart<3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes. Especially if you are a band geek.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book touched my heart. Highly recomended if you're human. Infanite rating!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book at my school book fair. There was really nothing that seemed interesting so i decided 2 try this. LOVE IT. However the actual book is less than on the nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Even though I don't play in a band I totally got this book. But I fell head over horn for Punk
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am very excited to read this book but i heard its slow and everyone says theres some part haout a temper tantom so i really dnt know
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Almost eveyone who's posted befote me ha agrree d its agreat book fr band players and this author's a fantastic one. Her characters tend to be very believable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pls answer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I PLAY THE FRENCH HORN AND IT ROCKS I LSO LOCE BAND AND MARIACHI I ALSO LOVE 101.1 ITS MY JAM
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all music not just band and i lloovvee this book. Why anyone would not buy it is my question.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book by the best auther ever! It is so good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just love this book. As i play the french horn in middle school band, this book inspired me and im going to play in the high school marching band. This book is more than worth the money. It is absolutely AMAZING! A must read. ENJOY!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This my favorite book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago