Review of Scout Is Not a Band Kid

Scout Is Not a Band Kid Scout Is Not a Band Kid
by Jade Armstrong; illus. by the author
Middle School    RH Graphic/Random    272 pp.    g
4/22    978-0-593-17623-8    $20.99
Library ed.  978-0-593-17624-5    $23.99
Paper ed.  978-0-593-17622-1    $12.99
e-book ed.  978-0-593-17625-2    $8.99

Scout is not a band kid…she’s a fangirl. This graphic novel celebrates the lengths to which eighth grader Scout goes to meet her idol, Pristine Wong, creator of a beloved (fictional) book series about a magical girl. When Scout learns that her school band will be performing at ­Almontefest—where Wong is doing a signing—she enthusiastically seizes the opportunity to scam her way into the trombone section. The only other trombone player, Merrin, a type-A overachiever, is thrilled to have her company, until Scout’s utter lack of musical knowledge becomes apparent. The two eventually find common ground and discover that each girl’s strengths complement the other’s vulnerabilities. New ­characters are introduced with a stat box that lists their pronouns and ranks personality traits (e.g., Merrin’s “Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma”) from Scout’s perspective on a scale of one to four stars. Additionally, Armstrong’s cartoony art style and focus on expressions and interactions help animate the characters. While this graphic novel will immediately entice nerdy fans of all stripes, Scout’s development models a nuanced, supported approach to goal-setting that will resonate with many middle-school ­readers. Back matter includes details and reference drawings for Armstrong’s characters, and sixteen four-panel black-and-white mini comics.

From the March/April 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Niki Marion

Niki Marion is the children’s outreach manager at Third Place Books in Seattle. She holds a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons University.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.