Music-loving 16-year-old Brandy Jackson has had it up to here with "they"--the annoying voices inside her mother's head. She isolates herself from the dreaded schizophrenic episodes with Beethoven and her iPod. Her long-suppressed desire to learn music is squelched by the burden of mental illness, at least until she arrives home from school to find her belongings on the DC streets and her mother vanished. Fortunately, Aunt Charlie comes to her rescue and moves her to Mapleton, Ohio, where she begins a new life free of her troubled past--or so she thinks.
Brandy's plans to fly under the radar at school in order to conceal her family's shame are quashed when Jenny Lee, her new next-door neighbor and a flutist, recognizes Brandy's musical obsession and urges her to join the all-white high school marching band. Brandy obliges and soon realizes she's traded her old troubles for new ones. Now, she stands out like a chocolate chip floating in a sea of milk; she has less than three months to learn to play her dreaded tuba---her only ticket to earn a spot on the band; and a near kiss with the Queen B's boyfriend lands her in triple trouble with the popular chick clique. But when another band member's failed plot to get rid of his nemesis unexpectedly leaves Brandy in contention for the band's most coveted position, the ensuing drama will give her the strength rise above her circumstances--or leave her paralyzed in the shame of her past
About the Author
Her adult novel, THE BUM MAGNET, was published by Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books in March 2011. THE BUM MAGNET was the winner of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Multicultural Fiction, as well as the Third Place Grand Prize Winner for Best Fiction of 2010.
If you enjoyed Soul of the Band, you will love her first young adult series featuring book one, Worst Impressions. Now available on e-book and in paperback!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Gr8 book doe
SOURCE: ARC -- author provided Every teen thinks their Mom is crazy at one time or another, but Brandy Jackson's Mom definitely does have some trouble. With the help of neighbors, Brandy's been coping the best she can, but her Mom finally snaps and Brandy's got to go live with her aunt. The thing is, Brandy's moving from the hood to suburbia where she's one of the two Black kids in her high school. The one thing that saves her is the band, but being a Junior and not having ever played an instrument, she's stuck with the tuba. The whole band is stuck with a majorette who's in love with show tunes and Cirque de Soleil music. Brandy's survived crazy, but can she survive bullying and out-and-out racism? Karla Brady's got a fine hand crafting an urban teen with a whole lot of heart and soul. Brandy seems like a real girl--like one of the friends I had in band or glee club back in high school even. The scenario's painfully real and one that many Black teens have faced. I believe Soul of the Band is going to be a book that will both help Black teens cope with racism and bullying and help White teens understand what minorities are up against. One thing you can tell, Karla Brady loves music--all kinds of music. You can hear it through her words and you can feel the beat in her narrative. If music has charms to heal, I think this book may well, too. Rebecca McFarland Kyle, May 2012