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Teen Blog

15 Great Teen Novels for Music Lovers

UnsignedHypeUnsigned Hype by Booker T. Mattison

YA MATTISON, B.

Fifteen-year-old Tory Tyson dreams of producing hip hop records, and as he rapidly begins to experience success doing just that, he finds that he must make choices between the way he has been raised by his single, God-fearing mother and the folks he meets in the music world.

This song will save your lifeThis Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

YA SALES, L.

Nearly a year after a failed suicide attempt, sixteen-year-old Elise discovers that she has the passion, and the talent, to be a disc jockey.

AmplifiedAmplified by Tara Kelly

YA KELLY, T.

When privileged seventeen-year-old Jasmine Kiss gets kicked out of her house by her father, she takes what is left of her meager savings and flees to Santa Cruz, California, to pursue her dream of becoming a rock musician.

SisterMischiefSister Mischief by Laura Goode

YA GOODE, L.

As members of teen hip-hop band Sister Mischief, Esme Rockett, also known as MC Ferocious, rocks her suburban Minnesota Christian high school with more than the hip-hop music she makes with best friends Marcy (DJ SheStorm) and Tess (The ConTessa) when she develops feelings for her co-MC, Rowie (MC Rohini).

HeavyMetalYouHeavy Metal and You by Christopher Krovatin

YA KROVATIN, C.

High schooler Sam begins losing himself when he falls for a preppy girl who wants him to give up getting wasted with his best friends and even his passion for heavy metal music in order to become a better person.

DebbieHarryDebbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers

YA BROTHERS, B.

When Johnny completes an alcohol rehabilitation program and his mother sends him to live with his uncle in North Carolina, he meets Maria, who seems to understand his fascination with the new wave band Blondie, and he learns about his deceased father’s youthful forays into “glam rock,” which gives him perspective on himself, his past, and his current life.

Fat kidFat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

YA GOING, K.

Seventeen-year-old Troy, depressed, suicidal, and weighing nearly 300 pounds, gets a new perspective on life when a homeless teenager who is a genius on guitar wants Troy to be the drummer in his rock band.

VinylPrincessThe Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz

YA PRINZ, Y.

Allie, a sixteen-year-old who is obsessed with LPs, works at the used record store on Telegraph Ave. and deals with crushes–her own and her mother’s–her increasingly popular blog and zine, and generally grows up over the course of one summer in her hometown of Berkeley, California.

DJ RisingDJ Rising by Love Maia

YA LOVE, M.

Sixteen-year-old Marley Diego-Dylan’s career as ‘DJ Ice’ is skyrocketing, but his mother’s heroin addiction keeps dragging him back to earth.

scarboysThe Scar Boys by Len Vlahos

YA VLAHOS, L.

Written as a college admission essay, eighteen-year-old Harry Jones recounts a childhood defined by the hideous scars he hid behind, and how forming a band brought self-confidence, friendship, and his first kiss.

OpenRoadSummerOpen Road Summer by Emery Lord

YA LORD, E.

Follows seventeen-year-old Reagan as she tries to escape heartbreak and a bad reputation by going on tour with her country superstar best friend–only to find more trouble as she falls for the surprisingly sweet guy hired to pose as the singer’s boyfriend.

GirlWhoBecameBeetleThe Girl Who Became a Beatle by Greg Taylor

YA TAYLOR, G.

Regina Bloomsbury, a sixteen-year-old, Beatles-obsessed rocker, takes a trip to an alternate reality where the Beatles never existed and her band, the Caverns, are the rock-and-roll superstars.

StrutsFretsStruts & Frets by Jon Skovron

YA SKOVRON, J.

Sammy wants to be a musician, as was his grandfather, but while the band he is in is self-destructing, Sammy is too distracted by his grandfather’s decline and confused feelings about his best friend to fix it–and his mother stays too busy to help.

5flavorsFive Flavors of Dumb by Anthony John

YA JOHN, A.

Eighteen-year-old Piper becomes the manager for her classmates’ popular rock band, called Dumb, giving her the chance to prove her capabilities to her parents and others, if only she can get the band members to get along.

I am not the walrusI Am (not) the Walrus by Ed Briant

YA BRIANT, E.

As the singer and bass player for a Beatles cover band, Toby embarks on a quest to increase his sex appeal, a plan that derails when he finds a mysterious note inside his old bass guitar.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on September 30, 2014 Categories: Fiction, Music, Realistic Fiction

Reviews by You!

invisibilityInvisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
YA CREMER, A.
When I got this book, I only looked at the cover and assumed it was going to be about an invisible boy falling in love with a visible girl. Then I actually started reading it… this book had me reading! Stephen is an invisible boy who is cursed by his curse-caster grandfather. Maxwell Arbus is the wicked curse-caster who is invisible as well but when he is around, it gets crazy. Elizabeth is an ordinary visible girl who can see curses but hasn’t really figured that out YET.
Review by Elizabeth

SpeakSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson
YA ANDERSON, L.
Speak is about a girl named Melinda who is entering high school with a bad reputation. She was at a summer party and got raped and didn’t know what to do so she called the cops. At school now Melinda has no friends but throughout her year she finds herself with the help of a tree.
Review by Valerie

DJ RisingDJ Rising by Love Maia
YA MAIA, L.
This is the first book in a long time that I’ve read and truly didn’t want someone to tell me how it ends. It started a little slow, but after that it took off! After reading DJ Rising, my love of music has grown even more than before! Definitely recommend this book!
Review by Susanna

TessaTessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Emily Franklin
YA FRANKLIN, E.
Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom is about a girl who is lesbian and gos to prom with another girl in a tux. Prom is cancelled and there is some major controversy.
Review by Bianca

Maze RunnerThe Maze Runner by James Dashner
YA SF DASHNER, J.
This book kept me at the edge of my seat from the very first word. I kept wondering what would happen to Thomas. He is thrown into this world and no one is giving him answers. I cannot wait until the movie comes out!
Review by Emily

NightNight by Elie Wiesel
940.548 WIE
Night was a sad book about Elie’s experience in the concentration camps. I would tell everyone I know to read this sad but moving story.
Review by Olivia

SteelheartSteelheart by Brandon Sanderson
YA SF SANDERSON, B.
It was a great read. The book is good for kids just entering their teen years. It was so intense. I like David for his determination. I like this book because the author made it seem so real.
Review by Emmanuel

RithmatistThe Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
YA SANDERSON, B.
The Rithmatist is an amazing book about a non-rithmatist (Joel) discovers a crime happening in Armedius. His dream is to become a rithmatist but he is not meant to be one. Instead, he works with his rithmatist friend (Melody). This book has a great unexpected ending. This is now my favorite book.
Review by Sofia

ThingsFallApartThings Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
YA ACHEBE, C.
Good book relating to Ibo culture and language. It talked about his life falling apart due to his attachment to the clan. I would recommend this bok to 6th-12th graders.
Review by Sara

clockwork scarabThe Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason
YA MY GLEASON, C.
This book is about two girls (both having famous families that deal with investigation) discovering why girls have been murdered. The murders are related to an Egyptian statue. Along the way of their investigation, they meet a boy (Dylan) from 2016. Miss Holmes, Miss Stoker, and Dylan help discover the reason for the killings.
Review by Sofia

Book Trailer of the Week– This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This week’s book trailer of the week is for This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales.  Elise has always been an outcast, no matter how hard she tries to fit it.  On one particular bad day, where she just feels like there is no hope, she attempts suicide.  Realizing that she is not serious about trying to end her life, Elise just keeps on going through the motions until she discovers and hidden dance club.  It is there that something sparks inside of her.  Always having a love of music, Elise discovers new friends and even a love interest.  Things are easy navigating this new scene, but Elise slowly becomes more comfortable in herself who she wants to be.  Click here to find This Song Will Save Your Life in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on June 20, 2014 Categories: Book Trailer, Bullying, Fiction, Issues, Music, Realistic Fiction

Get Real with Graphic Novels

Do you sometimes find is harder to read books about real people, places, or events?  Have you ever tried reading graphic novels that are about real life things?  Check out the list below of graphic novels that tell the story of real life people, places, things, or events in history:

Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor

Chronicles the rise of Hip Hop music as it grew from the streets of New York City in the 1970’s to the rise of the emcee into 1981. Additional volumes will follow.

hiphopfamilytree

The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown

The Dust Bowl is a desolate time in American history, where the earth was so ravaged that dust storms terrorized the land. What was worse about this time, was that it was caused by man. Brown describes the causes and the life of that terrible time, as well as what we can learn to prevent this from happening again.

great american dust bowl

Gandhi: My Life is My Message written by Jason Quinn and illustrated by Sachin Nagar

Renouncing wealth, ambition and comfort, Gandhi led by example, becoming one with the people he sought to free, facing imprisonment, hardship and humiliation while never raising his voice in anger. His strategy of nonviolent protest would become the model for the U.S. Civil Rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and continues to change history throughout the world.

gandhi

The Gettysburg Address written by Jonathan Hennessey, art by Aaron McConnell, and lettering by Tom Orzechowski

A graphic adaptation of the Gettysburg Address explains the events of the War, drawing on first-hand accounts from soldiers, slaves, and key figures and providing an understanding of the speech that marked America’s new path.

gettysburg address

Vietnamerica by G.B. Tran

A memoir in graphic novel format about the author’s experiences as the son of Vietnamese immigrants who fled to America during the fall of Saigon describes how he learned his tragic ancestral history and the impact of the Vietnam War on his family while visiting their homeland years later.

vietnamerica

Primates: the Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks

This is the true story of three scientists who risked their lives for research that forever changed the way we think of primates- including ourselves.

Primates

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on May 14, 2014 Categories: Graphic Novel, Music, Nonfiction

Baby’s in Black by Arne Bellstorf

babys in blackBaby’s In Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and the Beatles

by Arne Bellstorf

If you are a fan of the Beatles, then you will definitely want to pick up the graphic novel, Baby’s In Black.  Through black and white drawings, Arne Bellstorf tells the story of the “Lost Beatle” Stuart Sutcliffe.  Sutcliffe was the original bass player for The Beatles when they were starting out, playing seedy clubs in Germany in 1960.  Sutcliffe is a fascinating part of The Beatles history, as he was also an accomplished artist and writer who chose to leave The Bealtes right before they made it big.  While playing with The Beatles in a dive bar in Germany, Sutcliffe met Astrid Kirchhherr, a local photographer.  Astrid also plays an important role in The Beatles history: she shot some of the most famous early portraits of The Beatles when they were in Germany, and are also some of the only photos that include Sutcliffe in the mix.  Shortly after meeting, Stuart and Astrid fell in love.  It was then that Sutcliffe  decided that The Beatles were not for him.  He wanted to stay in Germany with Astrid and focus on his painting.  Tragically, though, Sutcliffe’s life was cut short when he died from a brain hemorrhage in 1962.  He never had the chance to marry Astrid or to see how successful The Beatles would become. 

This graphical novel really does justice to the story of Sutcliffe’s time with The Beatles and his romance with Astrid.  The author, Arne Bellstorf, worked closely with Astrid to get details right and put the emotional punch in this story that only Astrid could provide.  It is also a really great snapshot of the short time that The Beatles spent in Germany, playing wherever they could, right before they became uber-famous.  Finally, the art in this book is pretty simple, but also really expressive.  I think the style of drawing was my most favorite things about this graphic novel, and I am a huge fan of The Beatles so I loved getting  a new insight to a story I know well.  Here are a couple of examples of the art in Baby’s In Black:

Babys in Black 1

This first example is of Astrid and her boss looking artwork and talking about light and expression in classic art. It’s really cool how the art is depicted here, and how they are talking about the expression and lighting which is exactly what comes through in the art of Baby’s in Black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Babys in Black 2

In this second photograph, Bellstorf recreates Astrid’s famous photos of The Beatles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 20, 2013 Categories: Art, Graphic Novel, Music, Nonfiction, Staff Pics

Listen to This–Sharzad’s Playlist for Singer of All Songs

Check out Sharzad’s playlist for The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable, by clicking the pop-out player button below.

Click here to find The Singer of All Songs in the Library and find out why Sharzad selected these songs for her playlist.

 
 Standalone player

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on December 28, 2011 Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Music

Listen to This–Taylor Swift’s New Song for the Hunger Games Soundtrack

According to Teen.com, Taylor Swift with the duo Civil War released their song for the Hunger Games soundtrack via Twitter.  The song is entitled “Safe & Sound”.  Listen to it below:

https://youtu.be/w2v1N2q0sxs 

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on December 23, 2011 Categories: Dystopian, Music, Trending

Listen to This — Emily’s Playlist for Hoot

Check out Emily’s playlist for Hoot by Carl Hiassen, by clicking the pop-out player button below.

Click here to find Hoot in the Library and find out why Emily selected these songs for her playlist.

 
Standalone player
By MPPL on December 15, 2011 Categories: Fiction, Music

Listen to This–Emily’s Playlist for The Lightning Thief

Check out Emily’s playlist for the book The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, by clicking on the pop-out player below.

Click here to find The Lightning Thief in the Library and find out why Emily selected these songs for her playlist:

 

  Standalone player
By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 21, 2011 Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Music

Listen to This–Katie’s Playlist for Once Upon a Marigold

Once Upon a Marigold Book CoverCheck out Katie’s playlist for Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris, by clicking the pop-out player below.

Click here to find Once Upon a Marigold in the Library and find out why Katie selected these songs for her playlist.

 
Standalone player
By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on October 25, 2011 Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Music