Man, and I thought that finding a turtledove-related book was hard. French hens are even more scarce! Therefore, Notes from an Accidental Band Geek is a bit of a stretch: it's about a girl who plays the FRENCH horn, whose nickname is CHICKEN.
Yeah, I know. I said it was a stretch. Anyway.
Elsie Wyatt has a goal: she wants to become the youngest French horn player to ever be accepted into Shining Birches, the preeminent summer music camp. Her father and her grandfather both went there, and in both cases, it was the first major step in the journey towards the first seat in a major orchestra.
The problem is, Elsie missed the necessary audition, so she has to join her high school's marching band—marching band, where you can't even PLAY a French horn!—in order to fulfill Shining Birches 'ensemble diversity' requirement. And so, in addition to dealing with starting high school without any real friends, she has to step out of her comfort zone, socially and musically.
This would be a good pick for fans of Millicent Min, but with the caveat that oftentimes, Elsie is even more difficult to like than Millicent. After all, Millicent is hilarious (granted, often unintentionally, but still), while Elsie is... not. She's so prickly and difficult that it's hard to buy the romance storyline, let alone the other people who take a platonic interest in her, so it's likely that some readers will not take to her.
Elsie aside, though—along with her tempestuous relationships with her friends and her father—the stuff about marching band is both AWESOME and INTERESTING. Dionne does a wonderful job describing marching band culture and explaining the vocabulary and customs without ever letting those descriptions feel inorganic or resorting to didacticism.
Enjoyable, competent stuff, though not one that has me doing backflips.
Book source: ILLed through my library.