A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that All Together Now is a graphic novel about middle-grade musicians struggling to work together. Creator Hope Larson continues the story begun in All Summer Long. The story focuses on the challenges of being a solo artist or being a part of a rock trio. There's no violence and only a hint of strong language ("pissed," "sucks"). Bina and Austin start dating -- holding hands and kissing gently. Two other couples are a little more hands on, but they're not shown making out. There's a mention of marijuana, but no one partakes. Bina is biracial, and the supporting cast is very diverse.
What's the story?
As ALL TOGETHER NOW opens, middle-school musician Bina is looking for a drummer who wants to join her band. For a while, it looks as if the intense Enzo is the perfect pick, but when he and Darcy betray Bina by stealing her song, Bina doesn't know what to do next. Her life is further complicated by her attraction to her next-door-neighbor Austin, who used to be her best platonic friend. Can Bina make her musical mark on her own, or is she doomed to never write a better song than the one that was stolen?
Is it any good?
Music can be private or revealing, and this lively and heartwarming volume captures the highs and lows of making satisfying art and discovering who you really are. Writer-illustrator Hope Larson delivers a well-told follow-up to All Summer Long, continuing Bina's musical adventures in sunny Southern California. Bina can be overdramatic, but she's a winning presence -- sweet but knowing, loving toward her family and loyal to her friends, even if they don't offer the same level of support in return. Aimed primarily at middle-grade girls, All Together Now can still appeal to a wide range of readers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how All Together Now portrays the creative process. What practices foster songwriting, writing, and other creative endeavors?
How can you tell whether you like someone or really like them? Is it possible for your best friend to become your boyfriend?
How do kids change when they start to attend high school? How can friends and family help with the transition?
- Author: Hope Larson
- Illustrator: Hope Larson
- Genre: Graphic Novel
- Topics: Middle School, Misfits and Underdogs, Music and Sing-Along
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- Publication date: August 4, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 13
- Number of pages: 192
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: September 24, 2020
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