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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. 4 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! ♦ Booktube Channel ♦ Twitter ♦ Instagram ♦ I received an ARC of this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!

  2. 5 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. 5 out of 5

    Laura (bbliophile)

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

  4. 4 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. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I recently purchased this book for my school library's collection (we are a 6-8 building) and the first student who checked it out only had it a week before a parent told the student's teacher that there needed to be a book switch. They did not agree with the themes in the book (LGBTQ). There was no mention of removing the book or anything like that, but this parent concern had me moving it up my TBR list in case I needed to have firsthand experience with the book. With all that said, I really, I recently purchased this book for my school library's collection (we are a 6-8 building) and the first student who checked it out only had it a week before a parent told the student's teacher that there needed to be a book switch. They did not agree with the themes in the book (LGBTQ). There was no mention of removing the book or anything like that, but this parent concern had me moving it up my TBR list in case I needed to have firsthand experience with the book. With all that said, I really, really, really liked this one. It is middle grade gold, in the sense that the characters are realistic, the situations are pitch-perfect for middle schoolers, and the way the author handles some very complex and realistic situations (parents divorcing, friends ditching you for boys, wondering if the way you feel about your new friend is more than just a friend) is deft and tender. Melly's parents are sending her to Camp Rockaway for two weeks this summer, which is kind of good news. She likes to play the drums, especially with her best friend Olivia. But then, the day before she is set to leave, they drop the news on her: they are getting divorced. No worries though! They'll just talk about it when she gets back. Then, once at camp, Olivia starts hanging out with a new boy, Noel, and it is clear she is ready to ditch Melly if there is remotely a chance of being with him instead. And, as Melly begins to forge a friendship with Adeline, she wonders if there is more to that relationship than she originally thought. Of course, she's trying to pretend everything is fine with Olivia, that her band is actually working out (spoiler alert: it's NOT), and that Adeline is just a friend. All of this eventually implodes, leaving Melly to work out what she wants and how to handle it when some things are just out of your control. Highly recommend for readers who enjoy realistic fiction. Appropriate for grades 5-8.

  12. 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.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Neville Longbottom

    Well this was just a truly delightful middle grade book. Melly is a quiet girl who likes playing the drums with her best friend Olivia. But her life gets a big shake up right before she leaves for music camp, her parents tell her that they’re splitting up. Now at camp Olivia keeps ditching her to hang out with a boy and Melly might be falling for her new friend Adeline. I thought all the different elements of this story were handled so well. Melly’s sadness and anger at her parents, her frustrat Well this was just a truly delightful middle grade book. Melly is a quiet girl who likes playing the drums with her best friend Olivia. But her life gets a big shake up right before she leaves for music camp, her parents tell her that they’re splitting up. Now at camp Olivia keeps ditching her to hang out with a boy and Melly might be falling for her new friend Adeline. I thought all the different elements of this story were handled so well. Melly’s sadness and anger at her parents, her frustration with Olivia, her fear about not being a good enough musician, and her mixed up feelings about Adeline all seemed very real. Melly’s growth over the course of the story was so satisfying to watch. Also, I literally squealed and put my hand over my heart when a counselor has them listen to Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill and learn how to play it. YES! Put all the Riot Grrrl music in middle grade books. “Rebel girl you are the queen of my world.” I think this book is right on the cusp of YA since the characters are thirteen years old. So if you typically read YA and skip over middle grade, I think this one could be something to try out because the characters aren’t that young.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Well what can I say about this book? One of the sweetest and most heart warming books I have ever read. For a middle grade this book deals with some very important and serious problems but I feel they were handled in such a good way. Melly our main character is so interesting, I found myself relating to her in a lot of ways, as in I was similar to her when I was a young teenager. A very diverse book with a lovely message. Some great music references too1 It was sweet, funny, thought provoking and my Well what can I say about this book? One of the sweetest and most heart warming books I have ever read. For a middle grade this book deals with some very important and serious problems but I feel they were handled in such a good way. Melly our main character is so interesting, I found myself relating to her in a lot of ways, as in I was similar to her when I was a young teenager. A very diverse book with a lovely message. Some great music references too1 It was sweet, funny, thought provoking and my heart is just full of all these wonderful happy emotions! :D Fantastic!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Tanner

    I liked this story about Melly, a drummer who is going to a music camp for the very first time, with her best friend, Olivia. Except her parents drop a bombshell, that they are divorcing, right before she leaves. Melly is disconnected from her best friend at the start of the camp and it gives her a chance to find her own voice, including romance. My only objection is that I found that the reaction to her romance was surprisingly positive-it seemed unlikely to me that people would be so universal I liked this story about Melly, a drummer who is going to a music camp for the very first time, with her best friend, Olivia. Except her parents drop a bombshell, that they are divorcing, right before she leaves. Melly is disconnected from her best friend at the start of the camp and it gives her a chance to find her own voice, including romance. My only objection is that I found that the reaction to her romance was surprisingly positive-it seemed unlikely to me that people would be so universally accepting when that doesn't seem to be the case in the real world. But maybe that's for the next book.

  16. 5 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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anniek

    Middlegrade like middlegrade should be! Reading this at 25, I still found it super relatable, and while the setting and plot were quite simple, they were also really charming and the book did have a fair amount of depth.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    A cute middle grade story that touches on family issues, friendship (both the good and the bad kinds), first relationships, and self love. Also, it's LGBT with diverse characters and music puns so...

  19. 5 out of 5

    elisa

    rtc

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessie Bond

    Ugh, I so wish this book had existed when I was 12. Then maybe 12-year-old Jessie would have known she wasn't the only quiet girl having confusing feelings about another girl at camp. Loved the writing, loved the characters, related to Melly so, so hard.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jaie

    4.5 stars, rounding up A great middle grade summer camp book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    A fun middle grade coming of age story. Melly’s story of finding her rhythm on the drums while dealing with the changing dynamic with her best friend (that never feels melodramatic) is refreshing. I won’t spoil anything, but Melly’s relationship with her summer camp crush is adorable too. It is nice to read a book that has a young LGBTQ+ character that is treated with respect and never ostracized by their family or peers. Definitely a read I would recommend for all ages!

  23. 5 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 5 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lara (SapphicBookClub-host)

    An ARC of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a review. This books is what would've changed my entire life I had it when I was 12. I don't usually like getting too personal in reviews I write but I can't help it with this one. Because just like the protagonist, when I was that age I was discovering I liked girls. And just like her, I was playing drums. I don't even know any actual girl who was the same as me, let alone a book character I could've related to so much. The story is An ARC of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a review. This books is what would've changed my entire life I had it when I was 12. I don't usually like getting too personal in reviews I write but I can't help it with this one. Because just like the protagonist, when I was that age I was discovering I liked girls. And just like her, I was playing drums. I don't even know any actual girl who was the same as me, let alone a book character I could've related to so much. The story is simple to follow; girl goes to camp with her best friend, her best friend meets boy and she meets girl, cue emotions from circumstances such as parents splitting up, your bff drifting away, crushing on a girl for the first time, but girl grows and becomes a better version of herself. But the characters' emotions really are complex (and validly so considering all they're going through) and their adventures in camp are fun to rad about. Yes, there is some drama that I'm sure "adults" might find annoying, but I distinctively remember my brain going through the same thought processes in similar situations. And while I might be an aforementioned "adult" I still find myself flipping the pages and enjoying the writing. If you can enjoy middle-grade books, this is a must have. If you know kids who are into music, this is definitely something I would recommend recommending them. And if all else fails, this book is worth it just for the music puns.

  28. 4 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

  29. 4 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.

  30. 4 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!

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