One night only! It’s the BATTLE OF THE BANDS anthology, ed. by Lauren Gibaldi & Eric Smith (YA book review)

book cover of Battle of the Bands, edited by Lauren Gibaldi & Eric Smith. Published by Candlewick Press | recommended on

On stage, behind the scenes, in the audience,
taking tickets, selling merchandise –
all connected by local teen musicians!

Sixteen authors bring us interlinking stories that center around the annual Battle of the Bands at a suburban New Jersey high school from many points of view.

Solo acts and long-standing bands, breakups and first kisses, new friends and old grudges, family ties that bend and stretch (but will they break?).

Most stories begin before The Big Night with characters appearing in more than one narrative, just like the overlapping circles of acquaintance at the high school… or the first-time interactions at the Battle itself.

Get this book now at your local library or independent bookstore – just published last week!

I rarely read books twice, but I honestly can’t wait to reread this one, now that I’ve met so many characters as they gather for the music, the friendship, and the best Battle of the Bands ever!

What’s your favorite concert story?

Book Info: Battle of the Bands / Lauren Gilbaldi & Eric Smith, editors. Candlewick Press, 2021. ISBN 9781536214338 (Lauren’s site) (Eric’s site) (publisher site)

Stories by Brittany Cavallaro, Preeti Chhibber, Jay Coles, Katie Cotugno, Lauren Gibaldi, Shaun David Hutchinson, Ashley Poston, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Sarah Nicole Smetana, Eric Smith, Jenn Marie Thorne, Sarvenaz Taghavian, Jasmine Warga, Ashley Woodfolk, and Jeff Zentner, and featuring Motion City Soundtrack’s Justin Courtney Pierre.

3 thoughts on “One night only! It’s the BATTLE OF THE BANDS anthology, ed. by Lauren Gibaldi & Eric Smith (YA book review)

  1. I’ve been eager to read this book, and your review makes it even more appealing.

    Favorite concert story? Well, to be honest, some of them from the ’70s are a little blurry, but more recently I’d have to say it was the time we saw Buddy Guy on my birthday in 2017, and he came out in the crowd and sang to my daughter. I have a great close-up picture of him that I took over her shoulder.

    Oh, here’s another one. In 1994, Fleischmann’s Margarine held a sweepstakes, and I won the grand prize, which was singing “Barbara Ann” on stage in concert with The Beach Boys at Poplar Creek Music Theatre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Before the show, my wife and I had a meet-and-greet with Mike Love, Carl Wilson, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston. Then we had front row seats for most of the show. They came and got us just before “Barbara Ann” and took us backstage to the wings. When “Barbara Ann” started, the stage manager pointed to a microphone and said, “Have fun!” I was up there singing away and looked over at Carl Wilson and thought to myself, “Nothing like this is ever going to happen to me again.” When the song ended, they did not come and get me, so I stayed out there for “Help Me, Rhonda” too. Then they came and got me.

  2. Pingback: O is for on campus, starting college at FIRST-YEAR ORIENTATION! edited by Eric Smith & Lauren Gibaldi (YA book review) @A2Z | BooksYALove

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