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Drum Roll, Please

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Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat. Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse. Now, she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat. Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse. Now, she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer brings big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself falling for a girl at camp named Adeline. To top it off, Melly's not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock 'n' roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart?


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Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat. Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse. Now, she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat. Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse. Now, she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer brings big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself falling for a girl at camp named Adeline. To top it off, Melly's not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock 'n' roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart?

30 review for Drum Roll, Please

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    ♦ Video Review ♦ Drum Roll, Please was a truly delightful read with a lot of powerful messages packed into it. I usually don’t really read Middle Grade but because of the themes of this book I felt drawn to it and was excited to give it a chance. And while the themes of this book were clearly Middle Grade, this really read like a lower YA. It did not feel juvenile at all and I can definitely recommend it to YA readers who are interested in the themes. The summer camp aspect was wonderfully portra ♦ Video Review ♦ Drum Roll, Please was a truly delightful read with a lot of powerful messages packed into it. I usually don’t really read Middle Grade but because of the themes of this book I felt drawn to it and was excited to give it a chance. And while the themes of this book were clearly Middle Grade, this really read like a lower YA. It did not feel juvenile at all and I can definitely recommend it to YA readers who are interested in the themes. The summer camp aspect was wonderfully portrayed and brought me right back to my time in summer camps. This feeling of a space where everything feels possible in just a small amount of time came across so well. Even if you’ve never been to summer camp, you will get a good feeling for it. Melly’s struggles with believing in herself and her abilities were also really well done. The way she feels like she doesn’t deserve to even be at camp and doesn’t really know her place without a band was realistic and written in a way that made it easy to understand where she was coming from. The development of Melly's relationship with Adeline was wonderful. I think it was so cute when Melly had that moment where she realized why she had such intense feelings about Adeline. It was also great to see Melly in a questioning position but Adeline as someone who is 100% confident in what she wants and who she is. In general this had so many great friendships. I think the struggles that Melly had with her best friend Olivia were so relatable and realistic. I like when books portray the struggles of best friends growing up and going through puberty together. I think it's an issue in so many kids and teens lives that gets undermined pretty quickly. Overall I had an amazing time while reading Drum Roll, Please. I could mention so many more moments and things that I really loved but I think you get the picture. If you're interested in summer camps, music and coming of age, this is absolutely the book for you, whether you read Middle Grade or not! I received an ARC of this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review! [PRE-READ] THIS BOOK—-WAS WRITTEN——FOR ME!! SCHOOL BAND??? DRUMMER GIRLS????????? MUSIC CAMP???????????? GIRLS FALLING IN LOVE?????????????!!!!!!????? I was born to experience this book. I mean whatever I actually end up thinking about this book I know tiny me would have needed it VERY BAD 😭🙏🏻

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Ohhhhh I loved this book so much. Every so often in life, you find a book that just resonates PERFECTLY, and this was one of those books for me. It's one of my very favorite realistic MG novels I've ever read (my other favorite is Virginia Euwer Wolff's THE MOZART SEASON), and it burrowed straight into my heart to stay there forever. I foresee a lot of re-reads in the future, but also I felt a happy glow when I finished reading because I knew I was going to *remember* this book, regardless of re Ohhhhh I loved this book so much. Every so often in life, you find a book that just resonates PERFECTLY, and this was one of those books for me. It's one of my very favorite realistic MG novels I've ever read (my other favorite is Virginia Euwer Wolff's THE MOZART SEASON), and it burrowed straight into my heart to stay there forever. I foresee a lot of re-reads in the future, but also I felt a happy glow when I finished reading because I knew I was going to *remember* this book, regardless of re-reads! DRUM ROLL, PLEASE is a book about finding your voice, creating a family of friends, managing the ups and downs of friendship and experiencing first love. It's set in a music summer camp in northern Michigan (which OF COURSE resonated for me, since I grew up going to music camps in northern Michigan!), and the music itself - and its expressive power for the heroine - is written about absolutely gorgeously. (I actually highlighted several bits on my Kindle as I read because I wanted to listen to all the songs from the book as a playlist!) But you don't have to be a musician or love music yourself to love this wonderful book. The romance (which is with another girl, after the heroine has had intense crushes on boys before - but her new realization that she's bi is treated very casually, not as a point of drama, which I loved) is so, so sweet and sigh-worthy. Her issues with her best friend are just as vital a part of the book, though, and the most important plotline of all is shy (but inwardly fierce, deeply caring and smart) Melly's emotional journey to find the courage to tell people what SHE actually wants - whether it's to her parents (who announced their divorce just before sending her away to camp and expected her to deal with the news on her own without complaint) or her lifelong best friend (who expects Melly to ALWAYS be there, waiting and ready to do whatever Olivia wants whenever Olivia wants to do it, while Olivia gets to make other people her priority). And of course, it's also her personal journey towards finding her own inner rocker girl, who can pound her drums just as loudly as she wants and not worry about what other people will think of her. A lot of personal details in this book resonated for me - so much so that I REALLY wish it had existed back when I was MG-age and really could have used a book just like this as a mirror. But whether or not any of Melly's personal details match your own, this is just a really, really beautiful MG novel about courage and friendship and self-expression. I REALLY loved it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura (bbliophile)

    Full review to come, but it's safe to say that I liked this a lot.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Freeman

    Melly’s parents announce their impending separation a couple days before Melly and best friend Olivia leave for 2 weeks at music camp. Melly is an introvert who needs time and space to think and process. Olivia is an extrovert who has always been around to pave the way. Camp tests their friendship and allows them to begin discovering who they are personally and musically. Lisa Jenn Bigelow describes first crushes so beautifully – the yearning, the anxiety, the confusion when the crush is recipro Melly’s parents announce their impending separation a couple days before Melly and best friend Olivia leave for 2 weeks at music camp. Melly is an introvert who needs time and space to think and process. Olivia is an extrovert who has always been around to pave the way. Camp tests their friendship and allows them to begin discovering who they are personally and musically. Lisa Jenn Bigelow describes first crushes so beautifully – the yearning, the anxiety, the confusion when the crush is reciprocated and when it is not. Camp Rockaway sounds like a blast – especially because it is full of puns. Their campsite is called Treble Cliff, the board where they sign out to different spots is called the Fretboard, etc. This middle-reader is full of music and heart. To be published in June 2018.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kitkat

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really liked this book. I liked how Melly and Olivia were really close but a stupid guy comes who's a jerk. Olivia is stuck in another band which they wanted together. However they're in the same tent which is awesome. There's also Yasmine who is really awesome and Adeline. Adeline is so cool and kind to Melly when Olivia ditches her for her crush who's a dick. I loved Adeline so much! Melly and Adeline go out canoeing and practice together. They have a lot of fun until Olivia is shunned by he I really liked this book. I liked how Melly and Olivia were really close but a stupid guy comes who's a jerk. Olivia is stuck in another band which they wanted together. However they're in the same tent which is awesome. There's also Yasmine who is really awesome and Adeline. Adeline is so cool and kind to Melly when Olivia ditches her for her crush who's a dick. I loved Adeline so much! Melly and Adeline go out canoeing and practice together. They have a lot of fun until Olivia is shunned by her crush. I felt bad for Olivia but I think Melly deserved to hang out with Adeline. I know Melly goes crawling back to Olivia and it's really upsetting. But it shows later that her parents were thinking selfishly telling Melly before camp that they're divorcing. I liked that selfishness with everyone. Then how Melly understands because she was being selfish with Adeline and Olivia.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Plus Melly and her best friend Olivia are attending Camp Rockaway, a music summer camp in the woods with a predilection for bad puns on their signage. Melly isn't very interested in the camp, especially since her parents announced their impending divorce right before she was supposed to leave them for two weeks! Melly likes drumming but doesn't live for it, and when she is assigned to a group and is not with Olivia, she doesn't see the point of camp. There are a lot of typica E ARC from Edelweiss Plus Melly and her best friend Olivia are attending Camp Rockaway, a music summer camp in the woods with a predilection for bad puns on their signage. Melly isn't very interested in the camp, especially since her parents announced their impending divorce right before she was supposed to leave them for two weeks! Melly likes drumming but doesn't live for it, and when she is assigned to a group and is not with Olivia, she doesn't see the point of camp. There are a lot of typical camp events-- meals, hikes through the woods, substandard bathroom facilities, and a boys camp on the other side of the camp. As Olivia makes new friends, Melly struggles with fitting in until she meets Adeline. She enjoys being with her, and before too long starts to realize that what she is feeling is a crush. She is not sure that Adeline feels the same way, but the two continue to hang out together, and eventually decide they like each other. Melly makes some peace with her parents, takes some musical risks, and is able to be comfortable with many different aspects of herself. Strengths: Having attended a music camp in high school, the details about every day life (especially the rain!) are absolutely true to life. I've read more camp books lately, and they are always good to have. There are lots of fun characters in this book, and a subtle air of female empowerment, as evidenced through the music, that I really enjoyed. The crush and relationship are very organic and a part of a larger story, which is just what I've been waiting for. Enjoyed this a lot, and readers who liked Grosso's I am Drums will be glad to see another story centered around the evolution of a drummer. Weaknesses: The story is slow at a few points, but since the book is short, it moves fairly quickly. What I really think: Definitely purchasing a copy, and glad to have another LGBTQ+ title, because I have a lot of students ask for them. There is a growing imbalance in middle grade books, though, and I would like to see another title similar to Barakiva's One Man Guy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    This was my young adult read for the year. It perfectly captured some of the angst and drama of coming to camp with a friend (but wanting to make other friends), crushes, wrapping your mind around divorce, all sprinkled with a little music. Great YA read for those open to LGBT themes.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kathie

    This is definitely one of my favorite middle grade books of the year. It’s the perfect summer read about Melly and her best friend, Olivia, who head to a music camp for two weeks. As the girls are put in situations that force them out of their comfort zone with each other, Melly starts to bloom into her own person with a beautiful awakening when out from Olivia’s shadow. The feelings that she develops for a fellow camper, Adeline, the exposure to different music, and the emotions she experiences This is definitely one of my favorite middle grade books of the year. It’s the perfect summer read about Melly and her best friend, Olivia, who head to a music camp for two weeks. As the girls are put in situations that force them out of their comfort zone with each other, Melly starts to bloom into her own person with a beautiful awakening when out from Olivia’s shadow. The feelings that she develops for a fellow camper, Adeline, the exposure to different music, and the emotions she experiences about the bombshell her parents dropped on her before camp all help Melly grow in meaningful ways. I found this book in the teen section of the bookstore, but I’d classify it as an upper middle grade read. I just bought a copy for library, and will be recommending it often.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christany

    This is the kind of book that I needed growing up! I love how honest it feels, how naturally and sweetly Melly's crush on Adeline forms and grows...very reminiscent of my own first crushes. I also really appreciate that the book doesn't label Melly, or let anyone else label her. She's had crushes on boys as well as Adaline, but the novel is very careful to avoid calling her bi or pan or gay, and I think that's perfect considering Melly's age and how new these feelings and new revelations are for This is the kind of book that I needed growing up! I love how honest it feels, how naturally and sweetly Melly's crush on Adeline forms and grows...very reminiscent of my own first crushes. I also really appreciate that the book doesn't label Melly, or let anyone else label her. She's had crushes on boys as well as Adaline, but the novel is very careful to avoid calling her bi or pan or gay, and I think that's perfect considering Melly's age and how new these feelings and new revelations are for her. I feel like this book perfectly captures the muddled mess of starting to figure yourself out in your tween years - especially when you're a queer tween experiencing all the confusion and elation of your first same-gender crush. I wish there had been more books like this when I was growing up so I could've seen girls like me in the books I read, and I would've realized sooner that I'm not strange, and not alone! This is why representation in fiction matters, kids. ❤

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tay

    4.5 stars. Melly and her best friend Olivia both enjoy music and are going to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway. Right before they leave though, Melly's parents decide to tell her about their divorce, leaving her upset and confused. Not to mention how Olivia develops a crush on a boy at camp, but in the process completely forgets Melly and leaves her to deal with all of her emotions by herself. Melly, who doesn't make new friends very easily, quickly becomes close to Adeline. A beautiful, 4.5 stars. Melly and her best friend Olivia both enjoy music and are going to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway. Right before they leave though, Melly's parents decide to tell her about their divorce, leaving her upset and confused. Not to mention how Olivia develops a crush on a boy at camp, but in the process completely forgets Melly and leaves her to deal with all of her emotions by herself. Melly, who doesn't make new friends very easily, quickly becomes close to Adeline. A beautiful, awesome girl with the most beautiful voice. Drum Roll, Please was one of my most anticipated books and very high on my tbr. I'm so glad I picked this up as it didn't disappoint and delivered so much more than I thought I would be getting. I loved how even though this was over the course of two weeks, it wasn't rushed and didn't feel unrealistic. Camps are supposed to feel like a lifetime when in reality it's only two weeks and the author did a great job with that. This book also showed how friendships can have a hard and rough patch, Olivia completely ditches Melly the moment she had her eye on a boy. But it also shows how if you really are best friends you can get through it as long as you communicate your feelings. The divorce and Melly's feelings on it are very well done and exactly how a thirteen year old would feel if their parents just out of the blue decided to split. She's mad, she wants to throw a tantrum but that's not her. She's the quiet, shy girl who always does what others tell her to. Melly, who's an expert on the drums, doesn't get put into the same band as Olivia which was very cool to read about. For once she's on her own and gets to make her own decisions, yet she's very scared to really let go. In life and on her drums. Then there's Adeline, her new "friend" who listens to her and cheers her up, who's kind and helpful and fun to hang around with. Melly's development throughout this book was so heart warming and I really saw myself in her a lot of the time. She learns how her own happiness should always be on the first place instead of others.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jenni Frencham

    Melly joined the band at school because her bold best friend Olivia joined. She also signed up for a summer band camp so she could be with her friend Olivia. The day before she left for camp, her parents told her they were getting divorced. Reeling from this news, Melly flounders a bit at camp. Olivia is making friends and spending time with other kids, and Melly isn't quite sure what to do with herself. Slowly, Melly discovers her own interests and finds confidence to speak up for herself, incl Melly joined the band at school because her bold best friend Olivia joined. She also signed up for a summer band camp so she could be with her friend Olivia. The day before she left for camp, her parents told her they were getting divorced. Reeling from this news, Melly flounders a bit at camp. Olivia is making friends and spending time with other kids, and Melly isn't quite sure what to do with herself. Slowly, Melly discovers her own interests and finds confidence to speak up for herself, including finding a person that she may like as more than just a friend. The main story itself is not that different from many other tween books. A quiet girl finds confidence to stand up for herself and do her own thing, spurred on when her bold friend finds other friends and she has to forge her own path. The difference here is that Melly develops a crush on a fellow camper, a girl named Adeline. There are not many tween books featuring girl characters crushing on other girl characters, so this book stands out for that reason alone. The other important feature here is that when Melly discovers she likes Adeline, she doesn't have a huge identity crisis. She doesn't have to hide her crush, worrying that her friends will hate her or her parents will send her to a deconversion program, etc. etc. I do wish that middle school me had had this book to read as it gives HOPE and provides a great mirror to kids who aren't getting one anywhere else. Highly recommended. Recommended for: tweens / middle grade Red Flags: none Overall Rating: 5/5 stars Read-Alikes: Star-Crossed, Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World, Better Nate than Ever I received a complimentary copy of this book through Edelweiss for the purposes of review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aud

    Good camp book, fun summer read with depth. I liked the narrator and got a good feel for her as a person. She was quite mature for her age, but not unbelievably so - just very self aware, which fit with her quiet, listening sort of personality. You get the feeling that she and her parents will be ok in the long run, and I liked that, too. Read it in one sitting because it was pleasant to read and I wanted to keep going.

  13. 4 out of 5

    evan

    (Full disclosure, the author is a friend of mine.) This book was fantastic. I loved living in Melly's world and I was sad that Camp Rockaway only lasted 2 weeks. I wanted to spend more time with Melly and her friends and their bands. At the end of the book, I had tears in my eyes and on my cheeks. Lisa did a great job of making Melly's life, problems, and mistakes engaging and captivating. The writing itself was fantastic. I would forget that this was my friend's book and I was sucked in. Passages (Full disclosure, the author is a friend of mine.) This book was fantastic. I loved living in Melly's world and I was sad that Camp Rockaway only lasted 2 weeks. I wanted to spend more time with Melly and her friends and their bands. At the end of the book, I had tears in my eyes and on my cheeks. Lisa did a great job of making Melly's life, problems, and mistakes engaging and captivating. The writing itself was fantastic. I would forget that this was my friend's book and I was sucked in. Passages like this captivate me, I like the way that everything doesn't have to be spelled out, and you get the full embarrassment of the character. We each had to make up a jingle to help everyone remember our names. Let’s just say when your name only rhymes with jiggly words like belly and jelly, it’s bad news. Melly, her friends, and her parents are complicated, as we all are. They make mistakes, and they have to learn from them. A passage at the end of the book really struck with me as a core theme of the book: How was anyone supposed to figure out this stuff? It was depressing to think I could live another twenty-five years and still be clueless. I felt sorry for my hypothetical kids. The book, to me, is about the mistakes we make. The trials and tribulations of being a teenager and learning to deal with our emotions, our friends, and our crushes and love. And how, these trials, don't really go away. We are always making mistakes and learning from them. All of that wrapped up in a charming story of a woman starting to learn about her sexuality, how to be a drummer, how to communicate (with friends, with bandmates, with her parents, and with herself). I highly recommend this read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    Thanks to @kidlitexchange and @harperchildrens for the free book! ~*~*~*~*~* Happy pride month! I'm excited to feature a wonderful new #mglit book to add to your middle grade LGBT collections. DRUM ROLL, PLEASE releases on 6/26/18. Pre-order now! ~*~*~*~*~* 4/5 for this book about rock n roll summer camp and first relationships by @lisajennbigelow ~*~*~*~*~* Melly and Olivia are best friends headed to two-week summer band camp. Melly is a drummer and Olivia plays bass. But then Melly's parents reveal Thanks to @kidlitexchange and @harperchildrens for the free book! ~*~*~*~*~* Happy pride month! I'm excited to feature a wonderful new #mglit book to add to your middle grade LGBT collections. DRUM ROLL, PLEASE releases on 6/26/18. Pre-order now! ~*~*~*~*~* 4/5 for this book about rock n roll summer camp and first relationships by @lisajennbigelow ~*~*~*~*~* Melly and Olivia are best friends headed to two-week summer band camp. Melly is a drummer and Olivia plays bass. But then Melly's parents reveal they're getting divorced, Olivia ditches Melly for a boy and Melly starts to have feelings for her new band-mate, Adeline. Besides all that, the girls are trying to make their bands come together, which is hard enough without all the drama! ~*~*~*~*~* DRUM ROLL, PLEASE is a great book for band kids, as well as students looking for a new LGBT book similar to DRAMA by @goraina. The campers are diverse; Adeline has brown skin and Olivia is Latina. This book addresses the following issues in a realistic way: divorce, friendship problems and first boy-girl and girl-girl relationships. Olivia and Melly's friendship is strong, but it is going through natural shifts as they both grow and change. Melly's first-person narrative is honest and rings true. Students will naturally connect with her. I also like how Melly's parents are realistically flawed; they make a mistake, Melly suffers for a bit and then they recognize their mistake and apologize. If you have a lot of students who are into music and/or you need to beef up your #LGBT section (don't we all??), then consider buying! Recommended for grades 3 - 7.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    This was a quick read and a very sweet book. The narrator, Melly, grew on me as the book went on, as did the story itself; the book begins with a lot of exposition and flashbacks that were not particularly interesting and also made her feel younger than she actually was, but that improved once she arrived at camp and the story really got going. I loved that this book made the shy girl the main character, but didn't make her arc about becoming less fearful or more confident, at least not explicitl This was a quick read and a very sweet book. The narrator, Melly, grew on me as the book went on, as did the story itself; the book begins with a lot of exposition and flashbacks that were not particularly interesting and also made her feel younger than she actually was, but that improved once she arrived at camp and the story really got going. I loved that this book made the shy girl the main character, but didn't make her arc about becoming less fearful or more confident, at least not explicitly. This was a story about recognizing how passive an actor she was in her own life and learning to take control of her own choices and not just to go along with what she thought other people wanted. I related very strongly to Melly in a lot of ways, but I felt recognized by this particular aspect in a way I don't think I ever have in a book, and I really appreciated that. Overall, the story moved quickly and was successfully funny and moving when it needed to be. Adeline and Melly's relationship felt very real, as did Melly and Olivia's. I thought where the book struggled was to bring together the two threads of Melly's social life at music camp with her struggle to come to terms with her parents' divorce; her parents play a large part at the beginning and the end of the book, and are a driving force for the climax of the final performance, while only being in the background for the majority of the book, and the two storylines never felt well integrated--it was more like bookends holding another more interesting story between them.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Eklund

    I feel that we really need more LGBTQ+ middle grade books. There are a lot of LGBTQ+ fiction and non-fiction in young adult literature, but not a lot for the younger audiences. Whenever I see middle grade LGBTQ+ books, they move to the top of my to read pile. When I heard that Lisa Jenn Bigelow was writing a middle grade LGBTQ+ fiction book, Drum Roll Please, I knew I had to read it. I loved her young adult debut, Starting From Here, when I read it a couple years ago. Drum Roll Please definitely I feel that we really need more LGBTQ+ middle grade books. There are a lot of LGBTQ+ fiction and non-fiction in young adult literature, but not a lot for the younger audiences. Whenever I see middle grade LGBTQ+ books, they move to the top of my to read pile. When I heard that Lisa Jenn Bigelow was writing a middle grade LGBTQ+ fiction book, Drum Roll Please, I knew I had to read it. I loved her young adult debut, Starting From Here, when I read it a couple years ago. Drum Roll Please definitely didn't disappoint. I loved it just as much as Starting From Here, if not more. Drum Roll, Please brought back a lot of feelings of nostalgia. It reminded me of what it felt like to be younger, and falling in love with someone of the same sex for the first time. It also made me nostalgic for those feelings of having your first real crush, and brought back a lot of pleasant memories from when I was that age. I think Lisa Jenn Bigelow captures those feelings perfectly. You know an author has done a great job writing a book when it takes you back in your mind to a certain place and time, and makes you very happy. I also really loved most of the characters from Drum Roll, Please. I especially loved Adeline. She was so confident in who she was. I love seeing younger characters that are comfortable in their own skin, instead of criticizing themselves all the time. I think it makes for great role models that kids cam look up to. I said I enjoyed most of the characters because I really didn't like Melly's best friend, Olivia. I thought was very selfish, self centered, and a downright crappy friend to Melly throughout a lot of the book, especially after they get to camp. While I was reading, I kept hoping that Melly would ditch her to find a more supportive group of friends that would treat her better. I loved Drum Roll, Please. After thinking about it once I was finished with the book, I think it might just be one of my favorite middle grade books of all time. It's definitely my favorite middle grade contemporary book that I have read. I'm hoping Lisa Jenn Bigelow writes a sequel about the next summer at camp. I would really love to see Melly after she has some time to deal with the issues with her parents, and her sexuality. I think it would be awesome to watch her grow even more as a character. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a cute contemporary book to read. I especially recommend it to preteens that are just starting to discover that they might be LGBTQ+. I think it is a great resource that they will identify with.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Things I Loved and Why: -Fantastic representation! The female/female relationship is written so well and so realistically. I literally was so happy reading it because it was a feel-good and happy relationship with a happy ending. I love the dynamic between Melly and Adeline and how their relationship developed. -A drummer!! I'm a drummer and I feel like this was crafted a perfectly. The writing reflected how I feel as a drummer and I don't know if that's true for everyone but I love it so much. T Things I Loved and Why: -Fantastic representation! The female/female relationship is written so well and so realistically. I literally was so happy reading it because it was a feel-good and happy relationship with a happy ending. I love the dynamic between Melly and Adeline and how their relationship developed. -A drummer!! I'm a drummer and I feel like this was crafted a perfectly. The writing reflected how I feel as a drummer and I don't know if that's true for everyone but I love it so much. The author didn't have to make the story realistic to drumming, most people wouldn't know otherwise, but I thought it was amazing how the author went the extra mile. Not sure if she's a drummer in real life, but I just wanna commend this. -A bisexual character!! Ahhhh!!!! I love Melly so much. I, being bisexual, loved this story so much and it was everything I didn't know I needed in a book. I love how she mentioned having crushes on boys and kinda had a realisation that she was into girls too because that's how mine happened as well. -The friendship dynamic with Olivia!!!! -Her relationship with her parents! -Her character development as a whole. Man I loved this book I have to have a copy of it immediately. This will probably be one of my all-time favorite reads just because of how much it specifically answered a lot of my wants in a book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kari Healy

    Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own. Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow didn’t disappoint. A perfect summer read or anytime of year for middle school students. Melly is off to Camp Rockaway for two weeks with her best friend Olivia, but right before she leaves, her parents share with her that they are getting a divorce. Melly is devastated, but knows she has Olivia with her to support her through the camp. Once at camp big changes a Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own. Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow didn’t disappoint. A perfect summer read or anytime of year for middle school students. Melly is off to Camp Rockaway for two weeks with her best friend Olivia, but right before she leaves, her parents share with her that they are getting a divorce. Melly is devastated, but knows she has Olivia with her to support her through the camp. Once at camp big changes are in Melly’s future not only with parents and best friend, but discovering new friends, new feelings for her band member Adeline and her musical talents. The crush that Melly develops for Adeline is well-written and is just that a crush. I think readers will really connect with Melly - her character is a true middle school student - trying to figure out where she fits in this big universe and realizing that “finding your own beat” is part of growing up. Middle school students will enjoy this book, but especially students who love music, summer camp, stories of friendship/relationships and characters that are working through a tough time in life. Highly recommend. Book 35 of #30booksummer #kidlitexchange #ilovereading #fortheloveofreading #librarian #bookworm @kidlitexchange #keepthemreading #mglit @lisajennbigelow

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Callender

    You will find inspiring young role models in this fun to read and rocking tale of love. This book is just like what the camp counselor said about being in a band, "it's about working together, about give-and-take. " When Damon splits the two best friends Melly and Olivia, who came to camp together into different bands, he was right to 'believe that they would could come out stronger people and musicians in the end." As a Mom and health care provider, I was inspired by Adeline's parents who rew You will find inspiring young role models in this fun to read and rocking tale of love. This book is just like what the camp counselor said about being in a band, "it's about working together, about give-and-take. " When Damon splits the two best friends Melly and Olivia, who came to camp together into different bands, he was right to 'believe that they would could come out stronger people and musicians in the end." As a Mom and health care provider, I was inspired by Adeline's parents who reward their daughter who plays guitar for sacrifices around the household and contributions to her siblings care due to her father's progressive Illness by treating her every year to a couple weeks at rock and roll camp. The main character's crush on Adeline is well described when Melly says,' no wonder the singer but the word her. Suited I! She was everything I wasn't.' Adeline is so relaxed and wise throughout the story especially when she tells Melly, ' I know better than to expect everything will turn out all right in the end. But even when I can expect, I still hope.' I think this is a powerful and accurate example of coping well when a family member has an incurable illness at home and for when you are dealing with issues of the heart.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alissa

    Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for a review copy of this book - all opinions are my own. Drum Roll Please is such a cute gem of a story! My main reaction, from the very first chapter, was that it just felt so true. The language, characters, relationships, writing- all felt natural and effortless, which made the reading of it as comfortable and relaxed as the summer camp setting. Second: I loved the way the story addressed Melly’s sexuality, in that it kind of didn’t. Melly is simply comin Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for a review copy of this book - all opinions are my own. Drum Roll Please is such a cute gem of a story! My main reaction, from the very first chapter, was that it just felt so true. The language, characters, relationships, writing- all felt natural and effortless, which made the reading of it as comfortable and relaxed as the summer camp setting. Second: I loved the way the story addressed Melly’s sexuality, in that it kind of didn’t. Melly is simply coming to terms with her first big crush, and having that crush be on a girl. Everyone in Melly’s life gave her room for it to be just about that for now, which felt very appropriate for a middle grade book and character. While far from an expert, I can’t help but think how important books like this must be for kids who are having and reading about those first big crushes, but don’t quite see their experiences, or those of their peers, reflected in the stories they read. Bigelow did a *great* job of making such a story accessible and delightful to all audiences. We need more books like this for middle grade readers!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Even though Melly was forced to go to Camp Rockaway, it's just the escape she needs. Her parents are getting divorced and camp is the perfect distraction from the uncertainty and anxiety that comes along with it, like is her mom going to have a different name now. For as quiet as Melly is in person, she can sure play the drums loud and amazing. At camp, she meets a girl named Adeline. The more time Melly spends with her, the more she comes to like her. Melly's crush is innocent and confusing at f Even though Melly was forced to go to Camp Rockaway, it's just the escape she needs. Her parents are getting divorced and camp is the perfect distraction from the uncertainty and anxiety that comes along with it, like is her mom going to have a different name now. For as quiet as Melly is in person, she can sure play the drums loud and amazing. At camp, she meets a girl named Adeline. The more time Melly spends with her, the more she comes to like her. Melly's crush is innocent and confusing at first, but it becomes harder to ignore and to hide from her best friend Olivia. DRUM ROLL, PLEASE focuses on Melly who is going through a hard time with her home life. At camp, she's happy but discovers a whole new part of herself and it's one that's attracted to Adeline. I have to say that everyone needs a best friend like Olivia. She's supportive and there for Melly no matter what. Final Verdict: I would recommend this to those ages eight and up who like music and are confused with how they're feeling or are going through a rough time.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shan Salter

    If you are ready to be transported to summer camp, Drum Roll, Please is just what you need! Melly attends music camp with her best friend but she experiences much more than an improvement in her drumming. As well as managing her own self doubt and learning how to survive at sleep away camp in the isolated Michigan woods, there are difficult times with her best friend, her parents impending divorce, and a surprising first crush on a girl. Through Melly’s eyes, Bigelow paints a vivid picture of the If you are ready to be transported to summer camp, Drum Roll, Please is just what you need! Melly attends music camp with her best friend but she experiences much more than an improvement in her drumming. As well as managing her own self doubt and learning how to survive at sleep away camp in the isolated Michigan woods, there are difficult times with her best friend, her parents impending divorce, and a surprising first crush on a girl. Through Melly’s eyes, Bigelow paints a vivid picture of the woods, camp site, and the emotional roller coaster Melly is riding. The friendships between the characters are delicate and complex and realistically portrayed. Melly’s first crush is explored innocently without unnecessary focus or dramatization. A beautifully written, well executed story full of heart where each page turn brings more feels. Suitable for middle- grade readers and up. Embrace your inner rocker and enjoy!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Shields

    Read this book in one sitting. The author does an amazing job bringing to life a story about a young protagonist who deals with friendship, divorce, being an introvert encouraged to try new things, and having a "crush". I loved how real this story felt. Speaking of the crush, the way it is described on how your body feels around that certain someone or when you're thinking of that certain someone is so dead on. As an adult reading this it really made me fondly reminisce about having my first (an Read this book in one sitting. The author does an amazing job bringing to life a story about a young protagonist who deals with friendship, divorce, being an introvert encouraged to try new things, and having a "crush". I loved how real this story felt. Speaking of the crush, the way it is described on how your body feels around that certain someone or when you're thinking of that certain someone is so dead on. As an adult reading this it really made me fondly reminisce about having my first (and only) strong crush around her age. Also, as other reviewers have stated there are many fun musical references that make me happy knowing kids who read this book will eventually probably seek out those artists and songs. Highly recommend to all teachers of children in this age range, adults who love reading YA for nostalgia, and all kids in this age range. Thank you Lisa Jenn Bigelow for writing and sharing such a wonderful story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    LGBT middle grade novels are so important. I've already went on and on about this before in past reviews, but they are. For young and old readers. I love that the main drama was Melly's parent's divorce and not her relationship with Adeline. (There was some drama about that too, but it wasn't omg am i gay?? drama which is refreshing!) Instead, the support and care Melly received from Adeline to help her through camp and beyond was amazing to behold. Communication! Respect! Boundaries! Support! A LGBT middle grade novels are so important. I've already went on and on about this before in past reviews, but they are. For young and old readers. I love that the main drama was Melly's parent's divorce and not her relationship with Adeline. (There was some drama about that too, but it wasn't omg am i gay?? drama which is refreshing!) Instead, the support and care Melly received from Adeline to help her through camp and beyond was amazing to behold. Communication! Respect! Boundaries! Support! All shown in this relationship and it makes me happy for young queer kids and teens to have a positive example like this. I love how music and especially drums were Melly's constructive outlet and catharsis. Melly really comes into her own on the drums and learns how to take up space and finds her voice. Believable, heart warming, personal growth. My weakness and joy! Definitely adding this to the list of LGBT middle grade books I need to buy.

  25. 5 out of 5

    P.

    As someone who did go to Interlochen (not for music) this really was up my alley (even though they say their camp is for people who didn't want to be as hardcore as Interlochen) - Camp Rockaway is like supercharged Girls Rock! camp in the forests of Michigan but not just for girls. Bigelow has put a lot of care into creating the world of Camp Rockaway, and understands the social dynamics of camp life and teen femme life very well. The blending of friendship, unexpected crushes, family heartbreak As someone who did go to Interlochen (not for music) this really was up my alley (even though they say their camp is for people who didn't want to be as hardcore as Interlochen) - Camp Rockaway is like supercharged Girls Rock! camp in the forests of Michigan but not just for girls. Bigelow has put a lot of care into creating the world of Camp Rockaway, and understands the social dynamics of camp life and teen femme life very well. The blending of friendship, unexpected crushes, family heartbreak, and learning to play music as a band are balanced perfectly.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Melissa is the kind of kid that does things because her best friend leads the charge. Surprisingly, when it comes to music, she chooses drums while her best friend chooses guitar. Sleepaway music camp is another example of Melissa following behind her friend Olivia. Melissa is nervous about being away from home but knows Olivia will be by her side. Until she is not. Olivia develops interest in a boy in her practice band and Melissa finds a new girl friend that makes her feel like she has never f Melissa is the kind of kid that does things because her best friend leads the charge. Surprisingly, when it comes to music, she chooses drums while her best friend chooses guitar. Sleepaway music camp is another example of Melissa following behind her friend Olivia. Melissa is nervous about being away from home but knows Olivia will be by her side. Until she is not. Olivia develops interest in a boy in her practice band and Melissa finds a new girl friend that makes her feel like she has never felt before. Summer camp has gotten complicated.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eti

    Camp Rock meets Awkward in this pitch-perfect summer read (and also, all of the other seasons read: read this book all the time!) that I devoured in one day (yay, early morning flights to ALA!). Melly and her best friend Olivia are going to Camp Rockaway to learn how to be in a band. Melly plays the drums, which rock! But Melly's parents just told her they're getting a divorce... and Melly is grieving and doesn't understand how that is possible. While at camp, she meets Adeline, who she has an i Camp Rock meets Awkward in this pitch-perfect summer read (and also, all of the other seasons read: read this book all the time!) that I devoured in one day (yay, early morning flights to ALA!). Melly and her best friend Olivia are going to Camp Rockaway to learn how to be in a band. Melly plays the drums, which rock! But Melly's parents just told her they're getting a divorce... and Melly is grieving and doesn't understand how that is possible. While at camp, she meets Adeline, who she has an instant connection with. This beautiful (I literally highlighted something I loved on every page) middle grade love story is something I wish I had when I was a kid but I am so grateful that I now get to give it to kids! Highly recommended.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Martha Meyer

    Wonderful summer read for 4th - 9th grade! Melly is a shy drummer heading off to Camp Rockaway, a rock music camp. For Melly, it was hard enough to head off to a new camp, but the day before she leaves, her mom and dad tell her they are divorcing. Then, at camp she meets Adeline, a guitarist who stirs things up in Melly's heart even more. Don't miss this book garnering starred reviews! "A perfect summer read for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Jennifer Holm." says School Library Journal  "A perfect m Wonderful summer read for 4th - 9th grade! Melly is a shy drummer heading off to Camp Rockaway, a rock music camp. For Melly, it was hard enough to head off to a new camp, but the day before she leaves, her mom and dad tell her they are divorcing. Then, at camp she meets Adeline, a guitarist who stirs things up in Melly's heart even more. Don't miss this book garnering starred reviews! "A perfect summer read for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Jennifer Holm." says School Library Journal  "A perfect middle-grade love story." says Ami Polonsky, author of Gracefully Grayson.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I have a soft spot for books about kids who find themselves through the arts - music, writing, theater, etc. Love that one of the big themes here is that it's okay - and sometimes even justified - to be angry about things happening to you, especially when they're out of your control. (In this case, divorce.) A few reviews I read mentioned that this would be a good read for Raina Telgemeir fans and I think it's spot-on. Very similar style and tone.

  30. 4 out of 5

    H

    Melly's parents announce they are divorcing, then ship her to Camp Rockaway. Melly is reeling, but finds friends among other music loving junior high girls. When best friend Olivia is assigned to a different group and starts pursuing a boy, Melly turns to Adeline. But is her friendship something more? A sweet story of first love that happens to be between girls, and Melly is a sympathetic character. Best for grades 6-8.

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