I am not a musician. I can sing Itsy Bitsy Spider with the best of ‘em, but can’t play an instrument. Yet. I’m attempting to learn the uke, but it’s slow going. However, my daughter is one of those people who can pick up an instrument and in short order begin to play it.
Those people make me crazy.
I also don’t really get how they think, so when the book I Am Drums came in the new book stack, I checked it out. I was hoping it would be a window into the world of someone who finds music irresistible.
Sam hears drum beats all the time, in everything. When she walks, there’s a beat. If a door slams, her imagination conjures the beat of several doors slamming in rhythm. She can’t sleep at night for the beat in her head. More than anything, she wants a full drum set and lessons to make her a good drummer. But cash is tight in the family, and her parents are dismissive. When she learns that the music program in her school is being cancelled, she becomes desperate. She has to continue with music, or there is no point to her existence. She will do everything in her power to make the money to pay for lessons—even if it means outright defying her parents. Will her decision cost her everything?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Poor Sam wishes for a headphone jack so that she could just plug people into her brain and then they would understand her, because she can’t find the words to express her longing and need for music. I sympathized with her need to be understood. She is definitely an underdog, but instead of giving up on her dreams, she takes action to make them happen for herself. I didn’t always agree with her choices, but she could have made much worse ones.
This would be a good recommend for 4th – 5th grade music lovers, kids who feel misunderstood (don’t they all?), and young entrepreneurs.