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I Heart Band (I Heart Band #1)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  95 ratings  ·  26 reviews
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 replace
Paperback, 188 pages
Published January 9th 2014 by Grosset, Penquin USA
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Holly is looking forward to going back to school and seeing her best friend Julia. Her first day does not go as planned however. First her brother spills orange juice all over her first-day outfit and new backpack so she has to use an old batman one. Then Julia has made a new friend at band camp and Natasha is not someone Holly wants to be friends with. Natasha and Julia have all kinds of inside stories about band camp that makes Holly feel left out and jealous. Natasha also plays french horn in ...more
Regionals and chair tests and Solo & Ensemble, oh my! I tore through I Heart Band and its sequel in one morning, & they did a pretty good job of sending me back to 7th grade band life. I was thrilled that the protagonist, Holly, was not a flute or clarinet player, but a horn player--yay, ladies of brass--and waited with bated breath for what I hoped would be an inevitable spit valve-related scene (it happens! Holly intentionally empties her spit valve onto the 1st chair hornplayer's cute ...more
Holly Mead's first day of seventh grade isn't going as planned. Her troll of a brother(her words not mine) ruins her outfit, she's nearly late, and her new band director has some surprisingly strict rules. And worst of all, it seems like her best friend, Julia, has replaced Holly with Natasha, the new French horn player.

Holly is a perfectionist and very competitive. So she gets really mad when her best friend starts hanging out with Natasha. Her life's getting really stressed out with chair test
I loved this book. SO MUCH. The main character, Holly, is charming and hilarious and so relatable. And the book itself captures what it's like to be in middle school perfectly. I'll be looking out for all of the titles in this series, and this is going to be one that I recommend to everyone I know with kids. :)
7th grader Holly has been practicing her French Horn all summer to be ready for 8th grade advanced band class. But her best friend Julia went to band camp this summer and has made a new friend, Natasha, who also plays the French Horn. It’s not enough that she’s stolen her friend, but now Natasha is first chair. What promised to be an exciting year is turning out terribly and its all Natasha’s fault.

This new series is full of teen drama, but is a great clean teen read. The author is apparently a
Rachael Allen
An adorable, funny, heart-warming MG read with pitch perfect voice! I loved Holly - she's hilarious and awesome (and stellar)! The relationships with her mom and older brother were really well done. And the friendships, oh the friendships. This book captures what it's like to deal with the ups and downs of middle school girlfriend-ships like nothing else. Loved Julia and Natasha and Gabby. And I am positively swooning over Owen and his study cards (#TeamOwen). I wasn't in band, but I really love ...more
Robin Herrera
I did an interview with the author HERE!

For a long, long time, probably ever since I was in band years and years ago, I have wanted to read a book about band. About kids who eat, drink, and breathe band. Michelle Schusterman has written the book I so badly wanted to read.

Holly Meade is a wonderfully relatable main character. A perfectionist, she clashes with her BFF's new BFF, is completely embarrassed by how difficult she finds 7th grade science, and has a crush on (of COURSE) a cute, trumpet-p
Jen Malone
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 appreci
Mary Summer
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 ...more
I Heart This Book! Holly is a seventh grader who goes through friendship jealousy, boy crushes, sibling rivalry, angst about grades, etc. This is a great piece of realistic fiction for the middle school reader who still wants to read content that is still a bit innocent.
Fun, fast-paced, realistic and sweet middle grade novel about Holly, who is starting seventh grade. Despite her plans for a perfect year, everything goes wrong. Her confusion and jealousy were authentic, her problems relatable. And the book cover is glittery! Perfect book for your favorite band kid.
Claire Legrand
As a former band nerd -- well, let me be honest here -- as an ALWAYS AND FOREVER band nerd, I loved the talk of chair tests, pep rallies, solos, and spit valves. But even non-band nerds will be able to appreciate this hilarious and heartfelt tale of middle school drama, complete with friendship troubles, crushes, difficult classes, parties, and general emotional mayhem. With an incredibly authentic middle school voice, a charming and relatable protagonist, and a cast of dynamic supporting charac ...more
Kristen Milton
Like many other reviewers, I too was a band nerd, from middle school all the way to college. I am still a band nerd and always will be! I heart Band was a breath of fresh air. The characters are all very relatable, as well as the situations they are facing. I laughed the whole time, not only because the book is funny, but because of how important everything is to the characters! These were the same things that were oh so important to myself when I was in middle school. Michelle Schusterman did a ...more
L. Chase
This book is so clef-er (get it? Or did this bit of band humor fall a bit flat? Ba-dum-dum)! Anyway, I LOVE THIS BOOK! Holly has such a fantastic voice!! She is so hilariously sarcastic; her narrative makes me laugh on every page! The story itself rings so authentically true to how middle school really is and how friends/frenemies interact. I really love the resolution of this story and how Holly grows as a person, and I cannot wait for the next installment to see how her growth will play out in ...more
Louise Galveston
If you've ever been a band geek, you will LOVE this book. If you're a color-coding, obsessive clothes coordinating, schedule setting perfectionist (like me), you will LOVE this book. If you've ever been in middle school, you will not only LOVE this book, you will feel like you're back there. Schusterman nails every note and nuance in this three's-a-crowd tale about friendship, learning to be flexible, and seeing things from someone else's point of view. I especially loved the main character's re ...more
Cute junior book about a girl adjusting to middle school
Rebecca Bayley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paulette Garza
Super cute middle school book about friendship, studying for good grades, crushes on boys and viewing life from a different perspective.
An adorable MG novel that zapped me right back to middle school angst, insecurity, friendship, foes, and forgiveness all set under the umbrella of the band room. I particularly loved Holly and her mom's relationship and her growing friendship with gamer/band geek Owen. Because Batman backpacks ARE cool.

Buy this for the early tween in your life!
What a sweet, adorable debut from Michelle Shusterman! 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.
Vivi Barnes
This story is so amazing! And not that I really want to go back to middle school (ugh), but this book reminds me of all the GREAT things about that age: band, friends, and fun! The voice in the story is fantastic. Holly is a character and I just adored her! Trust me - you'll love this book from page one.
Kaitlin Ward
I ADORE this series. I so, so wish it had existed when I was in middle school.
Cindy Rodriguez
Sooooo middle school. Lots of fun. Nailed the voice.
Philip Siegel
This book was so much fun!
Brenda Kahn
Reviewing for slj
Michele Darmanin
Michele Darmanin marked it as to-read
May 23, 2015
Maura Riley
Maura Riley marked it as to-read
May 20, 2015
Madison Bruner
Madison Bruner marked it as to-read
May 18, 2015
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Author. Teacher. Musician. Vogon poet, future time traveler, good old-fashioned villain.
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Other Books in the Series

I Heart Band (4 books)
  • Friends, Fugues, and Fortune Cookies (I Heart Band #2)
  • Sleepovers, Solos, and Sheet Music
  • Crushes, Codas, and Corsages (I Heart Band #4)
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