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Audition & Subtraction

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
For as long as Tatum can remember it’s been:

Tatum + Lori = Best friends

They do everything together, including a yearly clarinet/flute duet for District Honor Band auditions. But when a new boy transfers to their middle school and their band, the equation suddenly changes to:

Lori + Michael – Tatum = One happy couple

With her best friend slipping away and her parents recently
Published September 4th 2012 by Walker & Company (first published September 2012)
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Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe False Prince by Jennifer A. NielsenKeeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon MessengerThe Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
Middle Grade Novels of 2012
148th out of 297 books — 672 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Well-Written Books for Teens and Kids
147th out of 168 books — 13 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kelly Hager
Sep 06, 2012 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing
I was so excited to read this book because I loved OyMG so much. The two are very different and while I definitely preferred OyMG, I really enjoyed this one, too.

I think everyone can relate to the idea of being left behind. Tatum tries so hard to cling to her friendship with Lori that she's very willing to sell herself short. And, like most of us (or, at the very least, like me), she won't admit to being upset or hurt because it may cause a fight or accusations of being jealous that Lori has a b
Mar 14, 2013 Kami rated it really liked it
- This was a really cute book. There were a few things that were juvenile, but that was the target audience for the book, so I guess it's ok.

- I LOVED LOVED LOVED all the band geek stuff!! I also LOVED LOVED LOVED all the clarinet stuff! I can totally sympathize with a calloused thumb and a sore lip!

- I remember the competitive feeling in band. It was exciting and nerve wrecking! Good Times!

- Auditions are scary. I'm with Tatum! They suck! This book brought back all sorts of memories about regi
Evelyn Krieger
Mar 26, 2014 Evelyn Krieger rated it it was amazing
This was a refreshing read--no swearing, violence, darkness, or controversy. Even thought the main characters are fourteen, the story seems more fitting for ages 9-12. Audition and Subtraction is a fun story that tweens can get lost in. I enjoyed reading about middle-school band life, something I never experienced. Tatum's voice was authentic and humorous. Her problems and emotions will feel real to young readers. The themes of accepting change and facing one's fears are woven into a great story ...more
Stephanie Redwine
May 19, 2012 Stephanie Redwine rated it really liked it
I would be lying if I said the title had nothing to do with my decision to read this book. I am a math teacher and the title is so close to ‘addition and subtraction’ that I was immediately drawn to it! Then I found of it was written by Amy Fellner Dominy and I was sold!
This story is about a 14 year old girl, Tatum, whose world is turned upside down when a new boy shows up at school and seems to take everything away from her. She had been planning on taking the third spot in the District Honor
Mar 15, 2013 Kristi rated it liked it
Tatum and Lori are inseparable. When Tatum found out her parents were getting separated, she basically lived at Lori’s. There friendship should be able to overcome everything. Right? There is a new boy at school, Michael. Not only has he caught Lori’s eye, he’s also up for the same spot as Tatum in the District Honor Band. Tatum isn’t sure that Lori is in her corner now that Michael is her boyfriend.

This book was adorable! It was sweet, fun and just enjoyable to read.

I loved the relationship bet
Reviewed at:

Can math equations change or does every problem only have 1 answer? Tatum believes that Tatum + Lori = Best Friends is an equation that will never change; however, she cannot predict variables that may change the problem as she knows it.

Amy Fellner Dominy is such a realistic voice in the world of middle grade novels. Her humor, story and emotions are spot on to the middle school experience. I also love that overall the book is such a positive
Jen Bigheart (I Read Banned Books)
Sep 19, 2012 Jen Bigheart (I Read Banned Books) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
This is a book every band geek will enjoy! I say that with love.... When hottie Michael moves in to town, shy Tatum is determined to not let this boy come in between her and her BFF Lori. Lori on the other hand, is knee deep in her first relationship. Throw in a fight to the death band competition - well, almost - and you have a fun middle grade that tests the lines of friendships.

Check out a great blog post about the WORST SCHOOL PICTURE ever at the blog! Yes, WE both share pictures!

Sep 04, 2012 Stacey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tweens or anyone older who wants to remember what it was like to be a tween
Shelves: tween
OyMG . . . Amy has done it again!!!!!!! This book is the perfect tween book. My daughter and I each read it within a single night. Reading about tweens and their friendships and the relationships, some of us are well beyond the tween stage. It was nice to revisit it. This book is full of twists and turns and surprises! I have now read the book three times and plan on reading it a few more times! It was a great read. Look forward to more of Amy's books!!!!!!!
Liz Fichera
Mar 10, 2013 Liz Fichera rated it it was amazing
Very sweet story! The dialogue was particularly funny and authentic. I had a total soft spot for Aaron and the awkwardness of middle school. That it was set in Phoenix made me love it even more.
Terry Johnson
Sep 22, 2012 Terry Johnson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Such a sweet story about friendship and family and growing up. The characters, especially Tatum, come alive through great choice of details.
Nov 11, 2012 Julie rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book because it incorpated the school band into its main plot line.
Nov 25, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Great message about friendship and having confidence in yourself.
Bree Ervin
Nov 07, 2014 Bree Ervin rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with Amy Fellner Dominy's writing in OyMG. Reading this solidified her status in my mind as this generation's Judy Blume. (Not to put too much pressure on her!)

Audition and Subtraction is for anyone who has struggled to balance their goals and aspirations against the pressures of friendship, dating, love and fear of being left out.

Hands down one of my favorite books, from one of my favorite authors.
Full review lives here - http://thinkbannedthoughts.wordpress....
Ms. Yingling
Oct 18, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it really liked it
Tatum and Lori are best friends and band mates and do everything together, especially a duet for band competition. When hot new guy Michael moves to town, everyone swoons over him, especially Lori. Lori has recently lost a lot of weight and isn't used to boys thinking of her as hot, so when Michael starts paying attention to her, she is elated. Tatum is glad for her friend, but misses her, and feels awkward about the whole middle school romance thing, especially when she starts looking at her fr ...more
Sep 28, 2012 Liviania rated it really liked it
Confession time! I thought AUDITION & SUBTRACTION was a young adult novel before I started reading it. I know, I know, the cartoon cover should've given it away, but I didn't. I was kind of disappointed because I wanted to read about high school band. (Not that I don't have fond memories of middle school band, too. I'm just hostile to surprise.)

Tatum is a second clarinet in the Dakota Middle School band, but she still has a chance of being one of three clarinets from the school that earns a
Kayla Eklund
Oct 08, 2012 Kayla Eklund rated it really liked it
Audition and Subtraction was a good middle grade novel. The book is about a girl named Tatum. Everything is changing around her and she doesn't like it. She can’t understand why everything can’t go back to the way it was before. She has quite a few bad changes in her life, but she also a few good ones too. This book has a good lesson for the readers. The lesson is, change is not always a bad thing. It might seem like the worst thing in the world when you are going through it. However, something ...more
Cindy Hudson
Oct 02, 2012 Cindy Hudson rated it it was amazing
Tatum doesn’t like change, but everything around her seems to be changing anyway. Her parents are separated and talking about divorce, her best friend lost weight and is reveling in newfound attention from boys, and a new kid in band wants to move into her position as third clarinet. She wants things back the way they were before eighth grade started, but since that’s not happening, Tatum has to figure out how to adjust or be left behind while everyone else moves on.

Audition and Subtraction by A
Jillian Heise
Oct 26, 2012 Jillian Heise rated it really liked it
Shelves: y2012-ira-conf
Review originally posted on Heise Reads & Recommends

AUDITION & SUBTRACTION is such a cute story. It's exactly what I've come to expect from Amy Fellner Dominy! Her writing voice is spot on for a middle grades book that will engage readers. Her books have middle school appropriate romance with a unique twist. This time it's the band students.

Some things seemed a little obvious to me as an experienced reader, but as a middle schooler, I probably wouldn't have realized them at that age. How
Nov 08, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
Looking for an appropriate book for middle graders that tackles middle school, friends and romance? Look no further than Audition & Subtraction by Amy Fellner Dominy.

Synopsis: For as long as Tatum can remember it’s been:

Tatum + Lori = Best friends

They do everything together, including a yearly clarinet/flute duet for District Honor Band auditions. But when a new boy transfers to their middle school and their band, the equation suddenly changes to:

Lori + Michael – Tatum = One happy couple

Holy crow, a review book I actually liked. Be still, my heart.

Since the third grade, Tatum and Lori have been inseparable, but now that middle school is drawing to a close, things are changing. Tatum first notices it when Michael moves to town--Michael, the new kid, the new clarinet player, the new clarinet player who threatens Tatum's chance at getting into the District Honor Band. Michael, whose immediate interest in Lori threatens to break up the friendship. As Lori begins to take her new boy
Laurisa Reyes
Sep 09, 2012 Laurisa Reyes rated it really liked it
This is a terrific book for ages 10 - 14, especially girls. Tatum plays clarinet and has her heart set on making it into honor band. With the audition looming, a new clarinetist moves in. Michael is just as determined as she is to get into the band, but only one can make it. What follows is a story of competition and friendship and first love.

I thoroughly enjoyed Audition & Subtraction, which surprised me since I don't read much contemporary fiction. But the story had just the right balance
Sep 16, 2012 Shielamom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Nov 08, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won-gr
This is a wonderfully engaging story of growing up and becoming your own person. The characters are wonderful. Tatum and Lori are best friends and both in the band however when the new band mate comes along it stirs up trouble in the friendship and leads to tough choices and realizations. I enjoyed this book and completed it in one sitting. A great read for middle school ages. I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Oct 08, 2012 Gabrielle rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, e-books
When I read the plot summary for this one I thought that it would be a typical boy gets in the middle of two best girl friends and then they either realize friendship is more important than boys or they fall out permanently when one realizes that the other was not a true friend. So I was pleasantly surprised by this book because it didn't do that. It was sweet and you really did like Tatum and you wanted her to succeed.
Kirsti Call
Sep 22, 2012 Kirsti Call rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who has played in a band would love this heart warming coming of age book. I especially like this because I played the clarinet in Jr. high and High School, just like the protagonist. This book addresses the complexities of friendship, dealing with parental separation, and being true to yourself. I love the characters and how Tatum eventually learns the value of courage.
Mary Louise Sanchez
Feb 08, 2013 Mary Louise Sanchez rated it it was amazing
This story was very much in tune with my youth when I was auditioning for honor bands and practicing to defend my first chair clarinetist status. Tatum and Lori have been a duet since elementary school and now the new boy, Michael, also a clarinetist, is putting a wedge between them, plus, Tatum's parents are considering divorce. This book was sweet music all around.
This book sounds amazing. I MUST read this book. It sot of reminds me what my teenage years were pretty much like....flying solo. Sometimes when you fly solo, it is the best thing in the world, but then there are times when we need a co-pilot we can trust won't let the plane crash and thus ruining our happy life.
Feb 01, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
"The ultimate message–that we don’t always get everything we want, even after sacrifices and hard work–is a valuable one, presented subtly. Girls looking for a realistic story will enjoy this one, and even those without musical aspirations will identify with Tatum’s problems." -- School Library Journal
Read  Ribbet
IRA 2013 nominee Intermediate Fiction. I think Dominy's second effort is a good take on the middle school relationship novel. The voice is more authentic and the innocent take on love and friendship is presented well. Not much new here but a better effort than most in this category.
Jan 06, 2014 Sandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-contemporary
This talented author captivated me from the first page in this coming of age read. Superb writing style and realistic / important life lessons about standing up for yourself when others would have you simply follow them and do what they want you to do. Content sutible for younger readers.
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Amy Fellner Dominy is the award-winning author of novels for teens and tweens including A MATTER OF HEART, an ALA Top 10 Sports Book for Youth; OyMG, a Sydney Taylor Notable Book, and AUDITION & SUBTRACTION, a Bank Street College 'Best Coming of Age' novel. Next up: DIE FOR YOU, a dark romance for teens out 11/8/16.

And coming in 2017 from Disney, Amy's first picture book, COOKIESAURUS REX, wi
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