A shy, quiet drummer looks for her inner Rebel Girl at rock camp.
The day before 13-year-old Melissa “Melly” Goodwin departs for Camp Rockaway, her parents make a heartbreaking announcement: They’re splitting up. At least Melly doesn’t have to deal alone; her best friend, Olivia Mendoza, a bassist, will be with her. But when Olivia deserts Melly for her crush (a boy named Noel), Melly has to go it alone. She finds herself confiding in someone who isn’t her best friend. Could carefree guitarist Adeline become more than just a new pal? She certainly makes Melly feel like her heart is full of buzzing bees. When Noel dumps Olivia, she turns back to Melly, but jealousy drives a wedge between the besties. Can Melly make room for both her best friend and a potential girlfriend? Can she step out from behind her drum kit and find the strength she needs to face the music at home? Narrator Melly is a complex blend of anger, curiosity, and creativity, appealingly laying her emotions bare for readers. Puns such as “Joan Jetty” (the boathouse) and “B-flat” (the afternoon rest period) bring character to the camp setting, which is also naturally diverse; Melly is white, Olivia is implied Latina, and Adeline is not the only brown-skinned camper.
Fresh and exhilarating, a welcome addition to the growing middle-grade genre of girls who like girls. (Fiction. 8-14)