Battle of the Bands
Fifteen young adult authors and one real-life rock star band together for one epic—and interconnected—take on a memorable high school rite of passage.
A daughter of rock ’n’ roll royalty has a secret crush. A lonely ticket taker worries about his sister. An almost-famous songwriter nurses old wounds. A stage manager tires of being behind the scenes. A singer-songwriter struggles to untangle her feelings for her best friend and his girlfriend. In this live-out-loud anthology, the disparate protagonists of sixteen stories are thrown together for one unforgettable event: their high school’s battle of the bands. Told in a harmonic blend of first- and third-person narrative voices, roughly chronological short stories offer a kaleidoscopic view of the same transformative night. Featuring an entry from Justin Courtney Pierre, lead vocalist of Motion City Soundtrack, Battle of the Bands is a celebration of youth, music, and meeting the challenges of life head-on.
With 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.
Look for my short story "Battle of the Exes" in this anthology.
Available now wherever books are sold from Candlewick Press!
Praise for Battle of the Bands:
"This impressive collection manages to sustain its jubilant energy, and each author’s distinct voice shines through without the whole feeling at all inconsistent. The stories are original enough to keep readers turning pages, while the overall conceit—drama both on and off stage—ties it all together...an impressive feat impeccably pulled off."
- Kirkus Reviews, *Starred Review*
"Chronicling the breakups, make-ups, make-outs, and breakout performances of myriad intersectionally diverse teens, this anthology’s deliberate pacing allows each entry to stand on its own while harmonizing pleasantly with the larger melody of the night’s overlapping characters and events."
- Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review*
"Musical teens can unite around this collection both for its unapologetic excitement for music and the representation it promotes."
- School Library Journal
"Empowering, hilarious, romantic, and wildly fun, Battle of the Bands perfectly captures both the magic of music and the drama of competition. It’s hands down my new favorite playlist.”
- Dahlia Adler, author of Cool for the Summer
"It’s a credit to editors Gibaldi and Smith that the characters from each story interconnect in subtle and fascinating ways, and a credit to the authors that each story maintains its own unique identity. In this way, the book itself operates like a band, effortlessly folding multiple voices into a mighty (and mighty catchy) chorus. Check, check, one, two. This book will rock you."
- David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Mosquitoland and The Electric Kingdom
Some Technical Info:
Battle of the Bands
Ages: 12 and up
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Formats available: Hardcover/E-book
First published: September 7, 2021