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Gr 8-11–In this very funny sequel to Swim the Fly (Candlewick, 2009), Coop takes over narration duties as he and his best friends, Matt and Sean, return for their sophomore year. Right off the bat they are assigned partners for a semester-long health-class project. To his horror, Coop is paired with “Hot Dog” Helen, the school outcast, and assigned to research contraceptives. Immediately dubbed “Corn Dog Coop,” he is desperate for a way to salvage his social status. An upcoming Battle of the Bands presents the perfect opportunity for him to reveal his inner rock god and make a good impression on all the hottest girls. He recruits his friends into “Arnold Murphy's Bologna Dare,” and they divide their time between rehearsals and hilariously misguided attempts to perfect their look. Meanwhile, the most popular girls in school enlist Coop to help them sabotage Helen, and he can't find a way to extricate himself from their plot to humiliate her. When she joins his band as the much-needed lead singer, grudging respect turns to infatuation even as his guilt grows. The inevitable revelation and its aftermath are both gut-wrenching and touching. Subplots about the band's cribbed demo tape and Coop's father's efforts to manage the group add depth to the story. Creative sexual slang and bathroom humor begin on page one, but Coop is mostly just talk. Messages about bullying and consequences of teen sex (included via the health project) add just the right note of gravitas to this rockin' romp.–Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
It’s not all that often the wisecracking buddy gets to be narrator, but that’s what happens in Calame’s endearing follow-up to Swim the Fly (2009). Fifteen-year-old Cooper’s nightmare—being paired with class pariah “Hot Dog Helen” for a semester-long project—has one solution: get respect by winning the school’s Battle of the Bands. Each chapter is titled after a thematically appropriate song (guess what “Smells like Teen Spirit” is about), and the band’s attempts to transform themselves into swaggering, spray-tanned rock gods is rife with laugh-out-loud blunders. As the slang-happy Coop might say, this is one part brill and one part ridic. Grades 9-12. --Daniel KrausSee all Editorial Reviews
I loved Swim the Fly, so as soon as I had some time, I picked up Beat the Band. And I wasn't disappointed! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Goldfinch
This book was outstanding. It was really funny at times, and really heart breaking at others. It does have a lot of crude humor in it, but it's worth it.Published 7 months ago by Ann Maede
---- "I couldn't stop laughing at this book. Cooper may be the most unlikely (and yet thoroughly likeable) hero you'll ever find yourself rooting for. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Cameron
I read the first on and read it in one day and by one day I meant 8am to 3am in the morning. It was the same with this book. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am a teacher and this is not a book that I would recommend to students. It should be rated R. I read the first couple of chapters. I threw the book away.Published 22 months ago by R. L. Whimpey
This is the second book in this developing series. However, Calame appears to have a better sense what this series is all about with this instalment. Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by Habs
Just a good, fun read! Great Characters and a nice look at another one of the boys from "Swim the Fly". Read morePublished on September 6, 2012 by luv2laf
A truly great and relevant story for todays youth. I was surprised to find Coop as the narrator of this story, but quickly got over that fact once the story really got rolling. Read morePublished on August 23, 2012 by Eric Jenney
I havent read swim the fly yet but now I definitely want to...the characters are hilarious and anything that comes out of cooper's mouth has me laughing out loud. Read morePublished on July 9, 2012 by H. Dinh