Cover image for I [heart] band!
I [heart] band!
Schusterman, Michelle, author.
Publication Information:
New York, New York, USA : Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, [2014]
Physical Description:
188 pages ; 20 cm.
On her first day of seventh grade, Holly Mead learns that her new band director is surprisingly strict and that her best friend has replaced her with the new French horn player.
General Note:
The word "heart" in the title and series statement appears as the heart symbol.
Reading Level:
620 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.2 6.0 164816.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Mass Market Paperback Series

On Order



Band Geeks unite in this fresh new middle-grade series by debut author (and former band director) Michelle Schusterman!

Holly Mead's first day of seventh grade isn't going as planned. Her brother ruins her carefully chosen outfit, she's almost late, and her new band director has some surprisingly strict rules. Worst of all, it seems like her best friend, Julia, has replaced her with Natasha, the pretty, smart, new French horn player! Holly is determined to get first chair, but Natasha is turning out to be some pretty stiff competition--and not just in band. Band might be a competition, but friendship isn't--and Holly needs to figure it out before she loses Julia for good.

Author Notes

Michelle Schusterman is a former band director and forever band geek, dating back to when she first picked up a pair of drumsticks in the sixth grade. Now Michelle writes books, screenplays, and music. She lives in New York City with her husband (and band mate) and their chocolate lab (who is more of a vocalist).

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Over-the-top middle-school drama abounds in this series opener starring self-proclaimed perfectionist and band geek, Holly Mead. As seventh grade begins, Holly finds herself the unwilling third side of a triangle with her best friend, Julia, and new girl Natasha, who Julia became friends with over the summer at the band camp Holly wasn't allowed to attend. Holly makes besting Natasha, particularly for first-chair French horn in advanced band, her mission in life. Though no middle-school drama is complete without fashion and boys, the story's focus on somewhat nerdy pursuits such as role-playing games, academic achievement, and extracurricular activities like band is refreshing. Lighthearted and funny, Schuster's debut novel well captures the voice of a somewhat sheltered, type A girl who finds herself both struggling in school and unsure of her status among her friends for the first time. Thankfully, Holly is not at all mean-spirited, which saves her from being so obnoxious as to be unsympathetic. Her slow journey to self-awareness will entertain series readers of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Popularity Papers series.--Szwarek, Magan Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Holly Mead prepares for seventh grade and the start of advanced band the same way she prepares for everything: with schedules, lists, and color-coded charts. Holly's perfectionist tendencies are no match for the things that go wrong on her first day at Millican Middle School, from her older brother spilling juice on her carefully selected outfit to the arrival of new girl Natasha, who seems to be moving in on Holly's best friend Julia. It only gets worse when it turns out that, like Holly, Natasha plays French horn. The competition for first chair in band, as well as for Julia's affections, heats up fast in this upbeat read, first in a series. Young musicians will be right at home with all the band details debut author Schuster-man includes, and she's just as on target when it comes to strained friendships, budding crushes, and science quizzes, too; Holly's struggles to tame her inner competitor and learn to share will resonate. Readers should be eager to check out Friends, Fugues, and Fortune Cookies, available simultaneously. Ages 8-12. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-Self-proclaimed perfectionist Holly Mead is sure she's going to rock seventh grade, or at least the first day. Her outfit coordinates with her cool backpack, and she has color-coded the map of the school and coordinated her schedule with her BFF, Julia. Julia has been mostly MIA for the last part of the summer, and Holly is eager to reconnect. She's also anxious about the new band director and whether she'll be first chair in the French horn section. Then her brother spills juice all over her and she's forced to carry his old Batman backpack. The band director seems nice but has some strict rules and plans chair tests. Nothing is as Holly intended. Her voice is hysterically and charmingly self-centered, the middle school setting and dialogue are authentic, and the friend/frenemy dynamic and resolution play out realistically. Fellow band geeks will be thrilled to see themselves in Holly and nonmusicians will appreciate the world of music. A sweet debut.-Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.