Blackie took me aside last night, very gently, and pointed out that yesterday's post contained next to nothing about the actual book that I had chosen to highlight. Dogs are alert to consistency and the keeping of promises, and she was sorry but had to reveal my error. Today, therefore, I will write a brief post about American Band.
Several years ago, my brother-in-law told me about a new book called Friday Night Lights. My small local library didn't have it yet, but they secured a copy for me through inter-library loan. What a great story! High school football in Texas, twenty thousand fans on a Friday night, personal drama, winning and losing -- it was all there. I loved that book. (Side note: I tried to listen to the book on CD a couple of years ago, in preparation for another football season, the foul language really put me off. I guess I can block it out when I'm reading, but not when I'm listening.)
American Band is the marching-band version of Friday Night Lights, but without the language and perhaps with even more depth of personal drama. There's even a Christian element in the plot, as students strive to discern how to blend servanthood and leadership and live out their spiritual priorities. It's a clean book, an intense story, and it makes me look forward to the two games we'll play this year against schools with marching bands extraordinaire. (The coaching staff should hope for dry weather on those nights if they want complete stats!)