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I Heart Band #1 Paperback – January 9, 2014


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Series: I Heart Band (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap (January 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0448456834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0448456836
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #826,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

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

From Booklist

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. Grades 4-7. --Magan Szwarek

More About the Author

Michelle Schusterman is the author of the middle grade series I Heart Band and The Kat Sinclair Files (Grosset, Penguin), as well as the upcoming middle grade novel Maudeville (Egmont). In addition to teaching creative writing workshops, Michelle is a steel pannist and aspiring Vogon poet. She lives in New York City with her husband (and band mate) and their chocolate lab (who is more of a vocalist).

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M.E. Summer on July 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
I HEART BAND is a delight to read, especially for anyone who fondly remembers being in band, being a perfectionist, or being a middle-school kid just trying to navigate the murky waters of friendship. What I HEART BAND excels at is keeping the MC, Holly, totally true to herself, undeniably flawed, and thoroughly sympathetic. Even when Holly makes questionable decisions, I totally understand where she’s coming from, and honestly, I probably would have done the same thing in her place. To me, this says that the author really gets the middle-school age mindset, that she truly understands and loves these kids. It comes through in the writing, and kid readers will instantly pick up on her being a kindred spirit. They’ll love and see themselves in these characters. My middle-school self certainly did.
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Format: Paperback
This one time, in band camp… Holly's best friend came home with a new BFF and, man, does she push every one of a jealous Holly's buttons. Except is Natasha really so annoying? Or is it more that Holly is oblivious to the fact that some of the "flaws" Natasha has are the very same traits Holly herself exhibits?

I love, love, loved the fun voice in this story- Holly brought me right back to seventh grade and the pains of constantly shifting friendship "alliances". My writer brain completely appreciates what a masterful job Michelle did in keeping Holly likable and relatable when Holly's character traits could send her very much in the other direction. That's SO HARD TO DO! I loved Holly's journey to self-awareness and can't wait for more in this series.

I was never a band geek myself (although take away the "band" from that statement…) but I Heart Band makes me wonder if I missed out!!
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Format: Paperback
I think Michelle did a really spectacular job with capturing the excitement and anxiety of 7th grade. Her characters are likable and very real - I found myself extremely invested even thought the stakes were only as high as a test, a solo, or a crush. Yay for well written, excellent, fun middle grade!
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By Tara D. on February 13, 2014
Format: Paperback
What a sweet, adorable book this is! It felt so emotionally true to the realities of middle school...and while I was not a musician myself at that age, I appreciated the characters' love of music and the level of detail devoted to their band experience. This is a great new series for MG readers.
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