All My Friends

Farrar. (Eagle Rock: Bk. 3). Sept. 2021. 192p. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9780374311636; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780374388669.
Gr 5-8–In this third book in Larson’s “Eagle Rock” trilogy, middle schooler Bina’s music dreams finally start to come true when her band Fancy Pink books their first live show. Though technical issues mar their performance, a chance encounter with headliner Anne Surly’s merchandise seller leads to unexpected but exciting opportunities for Bina and bandmates Kesi and Lora—Fancy Pink’s music is featured on a new teen detective television show, and later the group is offered a record contract. When the girls’ parents decline the contract on their behalf, Bina and her friends vow to find a way to record an album themselves. This steadily paced narrative intertwines Bina’s musical and romantic journeys. Fancy Pink’s efforts, Bina’s in particular, to get funding for their album highlights a commendable level of persistence. The girls’ ambition, coupled with big teenage emotions, will resonate most strongly with middle school readers who also feel caught between their dreams and their parents’ wishes. Bina’s romance subplots feel age-appropriate and well incorporated into the book. The striking pink, white, and black color scheme brings a rock and roll vibe to the narrative, though the strong shades of pink may take some getting used to. The boldly lined art features expressive characters on simply drawn backgrounds. Bina is biracial (her mother is dark-skinned and dark-haired, while her father appears to be white), Kesi is Black, and Lora is white.
VERDICT An enjoyable, emotional read for fans of the series and newcomers alike. Larson’s tale will strike a chord among teen readers who enjoy music-themed graphic novels.

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