Ah, Middle Grade. That precarious time in life when friendships either fall away or blossom into something... different. AUDITION AND SUBTRACTION by Amy Fellner Dominy is all about the blossom, wonderful and terrible as it may be, during some of the most difficult years of growing up. And she does it with heaping dose of humor, too :D
From amydominy.com: Best friends Tatum and Lori are used to doing everything together—including a clarinet/flute duet for District Honor Band auditions. But all that changes when Michael transfers to their middle school, and into their band. Suddenly, not only is he competition for Tatum’s spot on stage, but he’s stealing Lori, too. Tatum is determined to stop him, and hold on to what she’s got. She enlists the help of her good friend, Aaron, but now he seems to believe her fib that they’re boyfriend and girlfriend. And her mom, to cope with a separation from her dad, is performing in community theater, of all things! Amy Fellner Dominy composes an equally heartwarming and hilarious story of how holding tight to what you have can keep you from reaching for your dreams—and how oftentimes the best way to move forward is by going solo.
AUDITION AND SUBTRACTION is like a favorite boyfriend on a cool afternoon; something you want to cozy up with and never let go. Her middle grade voice carried me back to the days of marching bands, first loves, and discovering the world isn't always the wonderful place you thought it should be. The sweet and honest story kept me up way past my bedtime because, like that first boyfriend I talked all hours on the phone with, I wasn't ready to say goodnight. It was a quick read that had me nodding my head in empathy, and laughing more times than I could count. A&S is one of the best reads I've had this year!
My fav line: (From Tatum's mother) "'Can't' is what we tell ourselves when something is hard."
Pick this one up as soon as you can; just click on the pic and it'll take you where you need to go. Or better yet, visit your local indy bookstore. Either way, you'll be happy you did :)
Happy reading and ¡Buen Provecho!