by Erin Dionne
Summary: 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 (what the heck is a mellophone??), but there are some cute boys. And marching band is very different from orchestra: they march, they chant, they . . . cluck? Elsie is not so sure she'll survive, but the new friends she's making and the actual fun she's having will force her to question her dad's expectations and her own musical priorities.
Review: If you follow my blog, you probably know that I am in my high school marching band. When I saw this cover, I couldn't help but be ecstatic. A book about marching band? That has to be the first one I've ran into. Now don't think just because you are not, or have never been in a marching band that you will not understand this book. You will. Erin Dionne does a great job of explaining everything and not throwing every technical marching term turn into the story. I play the piccolo and flute so I did not even know all the brass and horn music terms in here but I understood everything thanks to the author.
For the story, I wish it focused more on the actions of what Elsie was doing and less about what was going through her head. Elsie is so worried about getting into a prestigious summer music camp then anything else, and that's what the book mostly focuses on. Other then that I loved Erin's descriptions on music and how it made Elsie feel. I also enjoyed that Elsie was not the best socially, it was her flaw and it made her relatable. Everyone says something at the wrong time or does the wrong thing sometimes, and we get to see how Elsie handles that.
I would have loved to see more aspects on marching band through out the book, but maybe that's just because I'm a band geek myself. Either way for someone just starting high school, or joining a marching band, this is a great book to pick up. Filled with funny marching band moments yet serious problems, it was a perfect balance.