cover image Audition & Subtraction

Audition & Subtraction

Amy Fellner Dominy. Walker, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8027-2374-1

Middle-schoolers Tatum and Lori are best friends until Michael Malone moves to town, competing with Tatum both for Lori’s attention and in the upcoming honor band auditions. “So, yeah, he was cute—if you liked guys who moved in at the last minute and threatened to take your place in District Honor Band. Which I didn’t,” Tatum says. Last year, the girls played a duet together at the audition, but when Lori starts missing practice sessions to help Michael with his solo—and later announces that she’s playing a duet with him—Tatum is forced to reassess their relationship and rely on herself. Meanwhile, Tatum’s parents have separated, her mother is performing in community theater (to Tatum’s mortification), and her fellow clarinetist Aaron is turning into more than a friend. Dominy (OyMG) presents a believably conflicted protagonist with a narrative voice to match; musicians will appreciate the many details Dominy works into the story. Tatum confronts her predicaments with humor and growing maturity as she builds the confidence necessary to handle change. Ages 10–14. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept.)