Scout Is Not a Band Kid by Jade Armstrong

Published by Random House Graphic

Summary:  Scout’s greatest dream is to go to AlmonteFest and meet her favorite author.  When she finds out her school band is going, she decides to join, pretending that she can play trombone.  The only other trombone player is Merrin, a dedicated player who is trying to get into an exclusive arts high school.  Merrin has been wanting to have first and second trombone parts and is annoyed that Scout is faking her way through all the music.  A disastrous concert forces a reluctant Scout to take lessons from Merrin, and much to the surprise of both girls, they discover they actually have quite a bit in common.  By the time of the festival, they’ve become pretty good friends.  A falling out on the trip reveals to both how much they need each other, and that having dreams come true isn’t always as important as having a best friend to count on.  Includes several pages from the artist showing how they developed the characters and story.  272 pages; grades 4-8.

Pros:  As I revealed a couple of years ago, I too was a band kid, so I always enjoy reading about the fun if slightly cringey world of teen musicians.  This particular ensemble has a pretty stellar cast of unique characters, and I found it satisfying to watch Scout gradually realize that her true friends are in the band.  Raina Telgemeier fans will enjoy this when they’re ready to move onto something a little bit edgier.

Cons:  Occasionally some of the characters looked like they were sketched in instead of fully drawn.  I think there was probably a reason for this, but I couldn’t figure it out.

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