Notes from an Accidental Band Geek [NOOK Book]

Overview

Elsie Wyatt is a born French horn player, just like her father and her grandfather before her. In order to qualify for the prestigious summer music camp of her dreams, she must expand her musical horizons and join--gasp!--the marching band. There are no French horns in marching band, but there are some very cute boys. Elsie is not so sure she'll survive, but the new friends she's making and the actual fun she's having force her to question her ...
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Notes from an Accidental Band Geek

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Overview

Elsie Wyatt is a born French horn player, just like her father and her grandfather before her. In order to qualify for the prestigious summer music camp of her dreams, she must expand her musical horizons and join--gasp!--the marching band. There are no French horns in marching band, but there are some very cute boys. Elsie is not so sure she'll survive, but the new friends she's making and the actual fun she's having force her to question her dad's expectations and her own musical priorities.
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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.)
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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101529409
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 204,468
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
  • File size: 408 KB

Meet the Author

Erin Dionne lives in Framingham, Massachusetts.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Awesime

    I really like this book. You should read this book if you like realistic fiction.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    So true

    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.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2012

    friday december 21

    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

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 15, 2012

    This book was really good, but kind of slow for me ( i was flipp

    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.


    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Band

    Best book by this author. She really connects with herreadera

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    So good

    Love all erins books

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Isfsgsgercdgwaqscbdgdvfaffwvhdcbjffhddgfdvevgegfxvfsghfhgb

    Mggttdxfdzfsfcnhfsfcfhyetgesfbh
    !kkkkmffnnalx fk gbecttfg mnnkngfgdswqqqqwwwqwqqqqquipipupppippipipppoppppppuyreeuopiutewwyomd,d

    3 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    AMAZING

    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

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 20, 2011

    Sounds Interesting

    I Love This Author And Cant Wait For This Book To Come Out Im So Sorry For My Caps Letters But My used Nook Color That I Bought For Five Bux Has A Very Annoying Glitch

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Favorite book

    This my favorite book!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    I luv it

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 11, 2011

    :) :)

    I love this author, and I can't wait for this book!!!! I am a french horn player myself!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2014

    I love this book

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    To Is It Worth $7

    Yes. Especially if you are a band geek.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    Love it

    This book touched my heart. Highly recomended if you're human. Infanite rating!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    HolyFreakingGoodBook

    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!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    Omg!

    My friend and i was on the youth orchestra too but, allthw way at Seattle Youth Orchestrq. But, I got first chair on the first portion in violin but, my friend got second chair on the first portion but, it was an awesome feeling becaus emy score was like a, a with hers and yeah pretty cool! We were readong at barnes and noble and lile go tthis book an dwen tto readin glik ethat.EEEREREzaeEEE! I LOVE THIS BOOK Sooooo MUCH!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    I

    I started it but stoped because it was very very very booooorrrring

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Sounds good

    I read another book by her and this book seems good too

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2014

    Overaall review from most:

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews

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