Because: Debut Young Adult Fiction Novel by R.K. Slade

Because by R.K. Slade available on Amazon


Can music save you when your world comes crashing down around you?

Talented teen musician Rigby Raines is an extremely shy introvert who loves the Beatles and Beethoven. She wants only one thing in life: to follow in her mother’s footsteps as drum major of her high school marching band.

Still reeling from the unexpected loss of her mom to cancer last year, she is torn between her anxiety and stage fright and the desire to honor her mom.

Bullied for years by Taura Jacobs, self-proclaimed band queen and trumpet section leader, an unexpected discovery allows Rigby to face the past and experience a musical adventure of a lifetime.

Does Rigby have what it takes to conquer her fears, stand up for herself, and win the drum major tryouts?

  • Availability: Ebook & Paperback
  • Print Length: 370 pages, 56 Chapters + Epilogue
  • Word count: 72,600 words
  • Publisher: Marching Band Is Awesome (June 22, 2016)
  • Publication Date: June 22, 2016
  • Language: English


Marching band, band camp, music, band humor, band jokes, music history, young adult fiction, teen fiction, music history, time travel, adventure, sci fi, science fiction, Beethoven, trumpet


Anxiety, loss and grief, coming of age, self-discovery, bullying,

From the Author:

I wrote this book over the course of about two years, pulling a lot from my own experiences in band. Many of the settings created in the marching band scenes are crafted from my own recollections. Even though it’s been more than twenty years since I pulled on my own bibber and took the field for performance and competition, I understand that it’s the same today. And not even just in the sense that some things don’t change when it comes to band life, but also in geography. From all over the country, band kids can relate to this story, because it captures the essence of what it feels like to be a marching band kid. I wanted to give band kids, young and old, something that really represented them well in the form of a full-length series of novels.


Non-band kids, young and old, are enjoying this story, as well. My aim was to find the balance between painting accurate pictures of the band camp experience for band kids so that they could relate, and also to write enough details so that non-band kids could feel as if they were a part as well. In most instances, people who aren’t band kids only have a few cultural references to go by, and although those might be funny, they don’t capture the reality of what it’s actually like.

I also love music history, so in making this more than just a high school romance or just another band geek coming of age story, I wanted to weave in some of my own musical influences. In this book, Because, the main character Rigby Raines, gets to interact with one of her favorite composers, Ludwig van Beethoven. To do this, I employed time travel, moving this series into more of a marching band geek meets time travel sci-fi story. Many of my early readers were pleasantly surprised when that twist was revealed, and early reviews confirmed that my initial desire to include characters and facts from music history as accurately as possible would also enrich the experience of the reader.

Here are some of those early reviews:

  • “Absolutely loved the intertwining of music, action, and emotion. Amazingly well written…This is legitimately my new favorite book, I absolutely loved it! Can’t wait to read the next two!” –Early reader
  • “It was amazing, truly breathtaking! As a marching band nerd myself, I feel that this book really speaks for all of us band geeks and it really draws you in on a musical journey. The book is captivating and it leaves you feeling hungry for more just wanting to know what happened. This book is truly a work of art and I truly enjoyed it.” –Early Reader
  • “I sat and read it for at least 6 hours straight! The ending left me speechless and I can’t wait to read the sequel! I would most definitely recommend this to my band friends. It is such a good book.” –Early reader

And here are some reviews from Amazon:

  • “I loved reading this book! If you love marching band, you’ll definitely like this book. It’s filled with band references! Because (Time’s Song Series) has a great plot that’s filled with adventure, musical references, and band camp! Can’t wait for the next book!” — Amazon Reviewer
  • “I am in marching band and the drum major at my school. I really enjoyed this book. The line that stuck most with me was “A musician can play scales and exercises all day, but if she doesn’t FEEL the music, if she doesn’t dig down deep within herself, she’s just making noise.” I really felt and understood this line as a musician. 10/10 I am recommending this book to everyone in my band.” — Amazon Reviewer
  • “If you are a band geek and fantasy lover this is the book for you! Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down! It tells an amazing story that all band nerds HAVE to read, this is definitely a five star book.” — Amazon Reviewer
  • “This book is on point! I read it in 2 days and I’m a slow reader. Actually sucked me into the time series. I can’t wait for the next one. Now my son wants to read it too.He is a band nerd!” –Amazon Reviewer

And from the Non-band kid angle:

  • “I read this book in 3 evenings (I couldn’t put it down)! I was nervous that I would be a little lost since I know nothing about marching band, but not the case at all. I was enthralled with this story and constantly guessing where the story was going to go, and I was not disappointed. Very well written, a great read for all ages!” — Amazon Reviewer
  • “If there was ever a book that really surprised me, then it’s this one. I’m a musician but as I grew up in the UK, the marching band phenomenon never really got to me, and so I don’t know a huge amount about them. I tried this book out just because the premise interested me so much – a teenager coming of age without the one person who would be able to help her traverse the complications of leaving childhood, her mother – but I have been completely taken in by the marching band topic! Who knew that so much rivalry, competition, intrigue, and heartache could be centred around music in such a way? I loved the surprises (no spoilers here!), and I was really impressed by the way that R. K. Slade navigated a book that contained so many different emotional and potentially difficult topics without ever stooping to cliches or tired old tropes. This is a series that I want to be able to read more of, and so I’m really looking forward to the next one!” — Amazon Reviewer
  • “I ordered this for my teenage daughter for Christmas. First of all, this was not at all what she expected. She thought it was going to be a high school romance, but it is more science fiction. The marching band details in the book were spot on. My daughter felt that the author was talking about her school marching band. There’s time travel mixed with marching band. The main character is quirky and likeable. It wasn’t a happy, perfect ending, but it worked out well and was satisfying. It starts off nicely paced, but there are some slower parts. By the end, my daughter couldn’t put it down.” — Amazon Reviewer

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