Drummond: Learning to find himself in the music by Patrick R.F. Blakley Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young middle school kid struggling both academically and at home finds himself a new family when he is asked to join the high school marching band, and discovers more about himself than he thought possible in author Patrick R.F. Blakley’s “Drummond: Learning to find himself in the music”.


The Synopsis

Drummond is tasked with joining his high school marching band’s drumline and needs to find himself to succeed. You, like Drummond, might find yourself overthinking your life, or sometimes struggle to understand what you want to do with your future. The book is about figuring out who we are inside, then learning how to fit in. Drummond grapples and second-guesses himself throughout the book, but dealing with outside factors isn’t easy! Finding some unexpected help along the way guides him into his role in the band, and in life. When family life outside of the band gets dark, Drummond needs to fit into his new family within the marching band!

The Review

This was such a brilliantly written and captivating YA Genre Fiction read! The author expertly crafted a relatable and genuine narrative that felt alive on the page, and the imagery and tone the author captured ranged from the desolate to the passionate depending on the protagonist’s environment and mood. The themes of finding a community to belong to, nurturing one’s gift, and seeking family in the face of chaotic home life all played a central role in the protagonist’s narrative. 

The character growth was the heart and passion of the story in this book. The balance the author struck between Drummond’s turbulent and struggle of home life with the newfound passion and inspiration he finds, (as well as a new family), in his life in the marching band. The attention to detail the author puts into the actual percussions of the book and Drummond’s lessons in the marching band will ring a special note with music enthusiasts, and the nuanced way the author explores family dynamics will be widely felt in this reading.

The Verdict

Engaging, thought-provoking, and a special rhythm all its own, author Patrick R.F. Blakley’s “Drummond: Learning to find himself in the music” is a must-read YA Genre Fiction novel! The author’s own personal background in percussions and the origins of this story resting in the author’s previous children’s book make this story shine so much more brightly, and the personal touches the author puts on the narrative, as well as the emotional connection readers will form with Drummond, make this such an incredibly moving read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Patrick R. F. Blakley is a SAMMY award-winning percussionist from Syracuse, New York. He is a music judge for the New York State Field Band Conference and participated in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2018! Patrick has written two technical marching percussion books and also a children’s book called Drummy Drum Joins Marchy Band. The children’s book inspired his Drummond novel, which explores the question of why a drum would join the marching band in the first place. As it turns out, the drum was just a projection of his inner-self and Drummond had to find out who he really was inside! Drummond then uses that newfound information to try to fit in and connect with his new family!

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