It’s come up a few times on this blog—in my reviews of Ten Miles Past Normal and Raggin’ Jazzin’ Rockin’ and in my Top 10 of 2011 post—that I’m a music person. I’m not musical myself (I wish!), but I’m a strong appreciator. And I always seem to find myself drawn to music-related fiction.
For Trip Broody, in Guitar Notes by Mary Amato, music is a matter of life and death. That’s how it feels, anyway, when his mom takes his guitar away as a punishment. That’s how he ends up using a loaner guitar in a school practice room on odd days. Even days belong to Lyla Marks, a serious cellist. The two strike up a friendship that begins with notes left in the room and solidifies as they challenge each other to write songs and connect with music in a way that they hadn’t before. This is a sweet story of friendship that explores the pressures that teens are under without being dark and heavy. (Really, don’t miss this book. It is going to make my Top 10 of 2012 list, I promise.)
Matthew Meets the Man is another light read, but this one will have more appeal to boys. Matt wants to play the drums in a band, but there’s always something that gets in his way. First his parents make him get a job to pay for a drum set. Then his job doesn’t work out so well, and he’s forced to mow lawns for money. Then he gets a girlfriend, which makes it awfully hard to save up for his drum set. Give it to your reluctant readers with the promise of a fast, fun read.
If you’ve ever dreamed of going on tour with an indie band, you can live vicariously through the experience in The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour. It’s the summer between high school and college, and Colby has agreed to chauffeur his best friend Bev’s band up the California coast as they play a series of shows in some out-of-the-way clubs. They meet some interesting people and find some surprises along the way in a novel that will have appeal to those who like indie music, road trip novels, and coming of age stories.
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour. February 2012. 9780525422198. Gr 9-12
Guitar Notes by Mary Amato. July 2012. 9781606841242. Gr 7-12
Matthew Meets the Man by Travis Nichols. February 2012. 9781596435452. Gr 6-9