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Music: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about music?

Music is often mentioned as something that helps all areas of a child’s development from emotional, social, intellectual, motor skills, and language to literacy in general. Wow, if one thing can make such a difference we should probably spend a little more time learning about it. This list of books should give you a great start to learn about music with your little ones!

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Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears
Written by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Beth Coulton & illustrated by Nate Wragg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A rockin’ twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear know how to rock! But they need a new singer, so they audition everyone—the Three Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and more. To their dismay, no one seems just right.

Could the perfect lead singer be the mysterious girl sleeping on Baby Bear’s keyboard?

This mash up of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Voice is a surefire storytime hit.

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Echo
Written by Pam Muñoz Ryan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

2016 Newbery Honor Book
New York Times Bestseller

An impassioned, uplifting, and virtuosic tour de force from a treasured storyteller!

Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.

Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo.

Richly imagined and masterfully crafted, Echo pushes the boundaries of genre, form, and storytelling innovation to create a wholly original novel that will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.

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Music for Tigers
Written by Michelle Kadarusman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

From Governor General’s Literary Award finalist Michelle Kadarusman comes a novel about a young violinist who discovers her mother’s family secretly harbor a sanctuary for extinct Tasmanian tigers in the remote Australian rainforest Shipped halfway around the world to spend the summer with her mom’s eccentric Australian relatives, middle schooler and passionate violinist Louisa is prepared to be resentful. But life at the family’s remote camp in the Tasmanian rainforest is intriguing, to say the least. There are pig-footed bandicoots, scary spiders, weird noises and odors in the night, and a quirky boy named Colin who cooks the most amazing meals. Not the least strange is her Uncle Ruff, with his unusual pet and veiled hints about something named Convict Rock. Finally, Louisa learns the truth: Convict Rock is a sanctuary established by her great-grandmother Eleanor–a sanctuary for Tasmanian tigers, Australia’s huge marsupials that were famously hunted into extinction almost a hundred years ago. Or so the world believes. Hidden in the rainforest at Convict Rock, one tiger remains. But now the sanctuary is threatened by a mining operation, and the last Tasmanian tiger must be lured deeper into the forest. The problem is, not since her great-grandmother has a member of the family been able to earn the shy tigers’ trust. As the summer progresses, Louisa forges unexpected connections with Colin, with the forest, and–through Eleanor’s journal–with her great-grandmother. She begins to suspect the key to saving the tiger is her very own music. But will her plan work? Or will the enigmatic Tasmanian tiger disappear once again, this time forever? A moving coming-of-age story wrapped up in the moss, leaves, and blue gums of the Tasmanian rainforest where, hidden under giant ferns, crouches its most beloved, and lost, creature.

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The Music in George's Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue
Written by Suzanne Slade & illustrated by Stacy Innerst
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

George Gershwin heard music all the time—at home, at school, even on New York City’s busy streets. Classical, ragtime, blues, and jazz—George’s head was filled with a whole lot of razzmatazz! With rhythmic swirls of words and pictures, author Suzanne Slade and illustrator Stacy Innerst beautifully reveal just how brilliantly Gershwin combined various kinds of music to create his masterpiece, Rhapsody in Blue, a surprising and whirlwind composition of notes, sounds, and one long wail of a clarinet. Includes author’s note, timeline, and bibliography.

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I Love Classical Music
Written by & illustrated by Marion Billet
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Introduce your little one to six of the most iconic musical pieces in the western classical music canon in I Love Classical Music!Readers of every age will be enchanted by this charming board book with exceptional quality musical sounds that bring every charming picture to life. I Love Classical Music has a button on every spread, which triggers one of six captivating sounds that introduces a memorable piece from some of the most beloved compositions of western classical music. An incredibly simple but utterly fascinating interactive book with sounds bound to enchant young readers and ignite an early love of classical music! A delightful and compelling book in the My First Sound Book series that everyone in the family will enjoy reading – and listening to – again and again. Includes pieces from: - Mozart- Vivaldi- Strauss- Schubert- Tchaikovsky- Paganini

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  • She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) - The year is 1966. The Vietnam War rages overseas, the Beatles have catapulted into stardom, and twelve-year-old Rhode Island native Trudy Mixer is not thrilled with life. Her best friend, Michelle, has decided to become a cheerleader, everyone at school is now calling her Gertrude (her hated real name), and the gem of her middle school career, the Beatles fan club, has dwindled down to only three other members–the least popular kids at school. And at home, her workaholic father has become even more distant. Determined to regain her social status and prove herself to her father, Trudy looks toward the biggest thing happening worldwide: the Beatles. She is set on seeing them in Boston during their final world tour–and meeting her beloved Paul McCartney. So on a hot August day, unknown to their families, Trudy and crew set off on their journey, each of them with soaring hopes for what lies ahead.

  • Trombone Shorty - A Grammy-nominated headliner for the New Orleans Jazz Fest describes his childhood in Tremâe and how he came to be a bandleader by age six.

  • The Trumpet of the Swan - Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection–he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

  • Bud, Not Buddy - The Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning classic about a boy who decides to hit the road to find his father—from Christopher Paul Curtis, author of The Watsons Go To Birmingham—1963, a Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree. It’s 1936, in Flint Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud’s got a few things going for him: He has his own suitcase full of special things. He’s the author of Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!! Bud’s got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him—not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself. AN ALA BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG ADULTS AN ALA NOTABLE CHILDREN’S BOOK AN IRA CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD WINNER NAMED TO 14 STATE AWARD LISTS “The book is a gem, of value to all ages, not just the young people to whom it is aimed.” —The Christian Science Monitor “Will keep readers engrossed from first page to last.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred “Curtis writes with a razor-sharp intelligence that grabs the reader by the heart and never lets go. . . . This highly recommended title [is] at the top of the list of books to be read again and again.” —Voice of Youth Advocates, Starred

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What a Wonderful World
Written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss & illustrated by Tim Hopgood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

First recorded in 1967 by Louis Armstrong, and with sales of over one million copies, “What a Wonderful World” has become a poignant message of hope for people everywhere. Sweet and positive in its message, with bright, beautiful art, this book is sure to be a hit. Perfect for sharing!

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Pokko and the Drum
Written & illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From E.B. White Read Aloud honor artist Matthew Forsythe comes a picture book about a magical drum, an emerald forest, and the little frog who dares to make her own music.

The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her the drum. When Pokko takes the drum deep into the forest it is so quiet, so very quiet that Pokko decides to play. And before she knows it she is joined by a band of animals —first the raccoon, then the rabbit, then the wolf—and soon the entire forest is following her. Will Pokko hear her father’s voice when he calls her home?

Pokko and the Drum is a story about art, persistence, and a family of frogs living in a mushroom.

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Respect: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford & illustrated by Frank Morrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From a New York Times bestselling author and an acclaimed illustrator comes this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin that pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves. Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father’s Detroit church where her soaring voice spanned more than three octaves. Her string of hit songs earned her the title “the Queen of Soul,” multiple Grammy Awards, and a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But Aretha didn’t just raise her voice in song, she also spoke out against injustice and fought for civil rights. This authoritative, rhythmic picture book biography will captivate young readers with Aretha’s inspiring story.

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Ada's Violin
Written by Susan Hood & illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A town built on a landfill. A community in need of hope. A girl with a dream. A man with a vision. An ingenious idea.

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Because
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, composes a powerful symphony of chance, discovery, persistence, and magic in this moving tale of a young girl’s journey to center stage. Illustrator Amber Ren brings Willems’ music to life, conducting a stunning picture book debut.

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  • The Bear, the Piano, the Dog, and the Fiddle - In this charming, gorgeously illustrated follow-up to the award-winning The Bear and the Piano, a fiddle-playing dog and his human pal share the joy of music, and discover that, even through sad times and far-apart times, good friendship lasts forever. Fiddle-playing Hector and his dog, Hugo, are best friends. Hugo is Hector’s biggest fan, and when Hector decides to retire, Hugo secretly learns to play the fiddle himself. Soon, a famous piano-playing bear invites him to join his all-animal band and travel the world to perform in front of huge crowds–an opportunity that Hector had always dreamed of for himself. Will Hector be able to overcome his jealousy and learn to be happy for his friend? This heartfelt tale reminds us that there are many different kinds of success, and it celebrates the joy and healing powers of music and friendship.

  • Ella Fitzgerald - Meet Ella Fitzgerald, one of the most influential jazz singers of all time! New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the inspirational life of the First Lady of Song, from her early singing days on the streets of Harlem, to her success as a jazz legend, with the message: ‘It’s not where you come from, but where you’re going that counts.’ With stylish and quirky illustrations and a facts and photo section at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

  • We Are Music - From the author of Music Is… Brandon Stosuy comes a second pitch-perfect board book that’s a kid-friendly music history lesson—perfect for the little record collectors in your life. From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief, Brandon Stosuy, comes a new board book called We Are Music that dives into the history of music. It starts with clapping, tapping, and drums, and from there the music moves in many different directions. From classical to blues to jazz to country to rock to punk to rap to hip hop, there is one important thread that weaves through every song that has ever been created: us.

  • Amazing Me! Dressing Up! - We’re amazing! We can dress up, sing, dance and make music. There’s nobody quite like us! Enjoy the antics of this inclusive and diverse group of friends, as they celebrate the natural and boundless creativity to be found in every child.

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Singing in the Rain
Written by & illustrated by Tim Hopgood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain, Oh, what a glorious feeling! Spring calls in this classic Broadway number, brought to life in a beautiful picture book—perfect for sharing! Jump in puddles, raise umbrellas, and dance with joy through the pages of this visual story. With colorful, springy scenes and the familiar lyrics, this is a beautiful, gift-worthy, feel-good read-aloud.

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Les & Ronnie Step Out
Written & illustrated by Andrew Kolb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences.

Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn’t even care about laces. What’s a duo to do?

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Hosea Plays On
Written by Kathleen M. Blasi & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9

This heartwarming picture book (based on a true story) depicts a day in the life of Hosea Taylor, a musician who—with his charm, talent, and generosity—brought joy to everyone he met.

Every day, Hosea takes the Number 42 bus into the city to play his shiny brass saxophone—and to hopefully earn enough money. Setting up in his favorite place, Hosea makes sweet music as people greet him with a smile, a little girl dances, and crowds surround him. A surprise ending reveals what the money is really for. Kathleen Blasi’s delightful text and Shane Evan’s colorful images capture the real-life closeness between the much-loved Hosea—who shared his passion for music and life with everyone—and his community.

An Author’s Note explains how Blasi learned about Hosea Taylor (1948-2016), and what compelled her to write his story.

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Music Is . . .
Written by Brandon Stosuy & illustrated by Amy Martin
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
The diverse illustrations are my favorite part of this book—it gives kids the opportunity to see more diverse set of people than they're typically accustomed to seeing in children's literature in a natural way without feeling the need to be preachy and whack you over the head. The music vocabulary is fun and the most surprising part to me is how much my toddler likes it—he'll happily read it again and again!
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief Brandon Stosuy, comes an entertaining new board book that introduces the many moods, styles, and senses of music to the youngest audiophiles—because music is for everyone, and music is for you. Featuring Amy Martin’s dynamic art style, Music Is… explains music through our eyes and ears so that the sense of hearing is transformed into a visual experience. A pitch-perfect board book that is sure to strike a chord with readers of all ages.

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Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin
Written by Lloyd Moss & illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book does a wonderful job introducing little ones to musical vocabulary, and there's also great rhyming and alliteration. This book counts to ten in numbers and in the names for different sizes of musical groups, such as a quartet. The colorful illustrations and text display many different instruments, and little one's will learn to say "encore!" when they want more. :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When this book begins, the trombone is playing all by itself. But soon a trumpet makes a duet, a french horn a trio, and so on until the entire orchestra is assembled on stage. Written in elegant and rhythmic verse and illustrated with playful and flowing artwork, this unique counting book is the perfect introduction to musical groups. Readers of all ages are sure to shout “Encore!” when they reach the final page of this joyous celebration of classical music.

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  • Old MacDonald Had a Truck - Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a…TRUCK?! With a DIG DIG here and a SCOOP SCOOP there, this classic folk song just got revved up! Beloved machines—the excavator, dump truck, bulldozer, and more—will have the vehicle-obsessed of all ages reading and singing along.

  • Giant Dance Party - Betsy Bird knows all there is to know about kids and books. She is the New York Public Library’s youth collections specialist, she writes a blog hosted by School Library Journal, and has served on the Newbery Medal committee. Now Betsy Bird has written a children’s book of her own, Giant Dance Party. In this rollicking picture book, a group of giants shows up at Lexy’s door wanting dance lessons. After some initial hesitation, Lexy is happy to teach them, and her dance classes end with all her students—as well as Lexy herself—overcoming their fears and putting on a boogying performance. Brandon Dorman, an award-winning artist whose work can be found in The Wizard, and on the covers of Fablehaven and Goosebumps, brings the giants and their dance moves to life with his full-color illustrations.

  • The Twelve Days of Christmas - The astounding talent of Laurel Long brings this beloved song to life with breathtaking style. Set against a lush countryside, each day brings a new gift elegantly rendered. And like in the verses of the song, the previous gifts are repeated in every illustration, giving this striking artwork a hidden aspect, culminating in a staggering spread featuring them all. Readers will pore over every page, searching for golden rings, turtledoves, and all the rest, secretly tucked into each stunning painting. Laurel Long’s unparalleled style makes this exquisite volume a treasure that will be cherished for years to come.

  • Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln - As a little girl, Teresa Carreño loved to let her hands dance across the beautiful keys of the piano. If she felt sad, music cheered her up, and when she was happy, the piano helped her share that joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too—the Civil War. Still, Teresa kept playing, and soon she grew famous as the talented Piano Girl who could play anything from a folk song to a sonata. So famous, in fact, that President Abraham Lincoln wanted her to play at the White House! Yet with the country torn apart by war, could Teresa’s music bring comfort to those who needed it most?

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Act 3
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A show-stopping middle-grade series about life in and out of the spotlight from Broadway stars and Internet sensations Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead. Two weeks at Camp Curtain-Up is just what Jack and Louisa need to fuel their passion for theater: Broadway musical sing-alongs, outdoor rehearsals, and tons of new MTNs (musical theater nerds) to meet… maybe even a special someone. It almost feels like fate when the two friends return home to find local auditions for The Sound of Music. But as Louisa fantasizes about frolicking in the Alps, Jack gets tempted by a student-run drama competition that would reunite the two with their camp friends. Will Jack get Louisa to skip an audition? Can Lou handle Jack as her director? And will someone finally get a big, Broadway happy ending?

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Band of Babies
Written by Carole Gerber & illustrated by Jane Dyer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Named one of Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2017: Baby to Age 2New York Times bestselling illustrator Jane Dyer teams up with award-winning author Carole Gerber to lead a band of marching babies all through town. It was just an ordinary day at play group until Benny arrived. With flute in hand and drums in tow, Benny’s love of music inspires the babies to get up and put on a show. Toot! Toot! Whee! Benny and his band of babies are a sight to see!With rhythmic text from veteran author Carole Gerber and lively illustrations from bestselling artist Jane Dyer, this musical journey will have readers of all ages snapping their fingers and tapping their toes!

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Born to Rock
Written by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts & illustrated by Neil Swaab
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

In the next book in James Patterson’s bestselling Middle School series, Rafe Khatchadorian’s hilarious little sister, Georgia, is back for another rollicking adventure!It’s not easy being Rafe Khatchadorian’s sister. He’s got quite a reputation around school, and Georgia’s got it hard enough as is! With a super secret crush on her classmate Sam Marks, a Rube Goldberg machine challenge to dominate, and constant confrontations with vicious Missy Trillin and her evil Princess Patrol to look forward to, Georgia can’t help but throw all her energy into the one thing that makes her happy: her kick-butt, all-girl rock band, We Stink!When Georgia’s favorite rock band, Lulu and the Handbags, advertise a major music competition where the winner gets to jam with Lulu herself, Georgia will pull all the stops to make sure We Stink wins–even if it means asking her annoying older brother, Rafe, for help! Will his crazy ideas work, or land her in serious trouble?

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Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters
Written by Michael Mahin & illustrated by Evan Turk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A picture book celebration of the indomitable Muddy Waters, a blues musician whose fierce and electric sound laid the groundwork for what would become rock and roll.

Muddy Waters was never good at doing what he was told. When Grandma Della said the blues wouldn’t put food on the table, Muddy didn’t listen. And when record producers told him no one wanted to listen to a country boy playing country blues, Muddy ignored them as well. This tenacious streak carried Muddy from the hardscrabble fields of Mississippi to the smoky juke joints of Chicago and finally to a recording studio where a landmark record was made.

Soon the world fell in love with the tough spirit of Muddy Waters. In blues-infused prose and soulful illustrations, Michael Mahin and award-winning artist Evan Turk tell Muddy’s fascinating and inspiring story of struggle, determination, and hope.

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What Were the Roaring Twenties?
Written by Who HQ & illustrated by Jake Murray
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Flappers, flag-pole sitting, and the Ford Model T–these are just a few of the things that instantly conjure up a unique era–the Roaring Twenties. It was the bees’ knees, the cat’s meow. If you’re not familiar with 1920s slang, all the more reason to read this fascinating look at that wild, exciting decade. It began on the heels of one tragedy–the flu pandemic of 1918–and ended with another: the start of the Great Depression. But in between there were plenty of good times–the Model T cars that Henry Ford made were cheap enough for the masses, the new sound of jazz heated up speakeasies and nightclubs during the time of Prohibition. Women, recently given the right to vote, cut their long hair into bobs, wore short skirts and makeup, and danced the Charleston (sometimes in marathons that lasted days). Michele Mortlock hits all the highlights of this heady age that still feels modern even a hundred years later.

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  • Nate Expectations - “The Nate series by Tim Federle is a wonderful evocation of what it’s like to be a theater kid. Highly recommended.” –Lin-Manuel Miranda, star and creator of the musical, Hamilton Third time’s a charm! Nate Foster returns home to Jankburg, Pennsylvania, to face his biggest challenge yet–high school–in this final novel in the Lambda Literary Award-winning Nate trilogy, which The New York Times calls “inspired and inspiring.” When the news hits that E.T.: The Musical wasn’t nominated for a single Tony Award–not one!–the show closes, leaving Nate both out of luck and out of a job. And while Nate’s cast mates are eager to move on (the boy he understudies already landed a role on a TV show!), Nate knows it’s back to square one, also known as Jankburg, Pennsylvania. Where horror (read: high school) awaits. Desperate to turn his life from flop to fabulous, Nate takes on a huge freshman English project with his BFF, Libby: he’s going to make a musical out of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. (What could possibly go…right?) But when Nate’s New York crush ghosts him, and his grades start to slip, he finds the only thing harder than being on Broadway is being a freshman – especially when you’ve got a secret you’re desperate to sing out about. This magical conclusion to Tim Federle’s beloved Nate series is a love letter to theater kids young and not-so-young–and for anyone who ever wondered if they could truly go home again. Especially when doing so means facing everything you thought you’d left behind.

  • Aretha Franklin - In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Aretha Franklin, “The Queen of Soul.” The fourth of five children, Aretha was born in Tennessee and took the stage at an early age in her father’s church choir. She went on to become the best-selling rhythm and blues singer of all time, and the first woman to be installed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the broadcaster’s life. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

  • Tales from a Not-So-Best Friend Forever - Nikki Maxwell’s summer is packed with drama in this fourteenth installment of the #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series! Nikki and her bandmates are looking forward to an AWESOME summer on tour as the opening act for the world famous Bad Boyz! Nikki is a little worried when her frenemy, MacKenzie Hollister, weasels her way into a social media intern position with the tour. But she has a total MELTDOWN when she learns that MacKenzie is her new roommate! Will Nikki survive her dream tour as it quickly goes from AWESOME to AWFUL?! The drama continues in Dork Diaries 14: Tales from a Not-So-Best Friend Forever!

  • When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel - Long before they became one of the most beloved and successful duos of all time, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were just two kids growing up in Queens, New York—best friends who met in a sixthgrade production of Alice in Wonderland and bonded over girls, baseball, and rock ’n’ roll. As teens, they practiced singing into a tape recorder, building harmonies that blended their now-famous voices until they sounded just right. They wrote songs together, pursued big-time music producers, and dreamed of becoming stars, never imagining how far their music would take them. Against a backdrop of street-corner doowop gangs, the electrifying beginnings of rock ’n’ roll, and the rise of the counterculture folk music scene, G. Neri and David Litchfield chronicle the path that led two young boys from Queens to teenage stardom and back to obscurity, before finding their own true voices and captivating the world with their talent. Back matter includes an afterword, a discography, a bibliography, and a fascinating list of song influences

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Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star
Written & illustrated by Rachel Renée Russell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Nikki Maxwell might just get her first kiss with her crush, Brandon, in this seventh installment of the #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series! Nikki’s juggling a lot this month. A reality TV crew is following Nikki and her friends as they record their hit song together, plus there are voice lessons, dance practice, and little sister Brianna’s latest wacky hijinks. Nikki’s sure she can handle everything, but will all the excitement cause new problems for Nikki and Brandon, now that cameras are everywhere Nikki goes?

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Barakah Beats
Written by Maleeha Siddiqui
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

For fans of The First Rule of Punk and Save Me a Seat, Barakah Beats is a sweet, powerful, and joyous novel about a Muslim girl who finds her voice on her own terms… by joining her school’s most popular boy band.Twelve-year-old Nimra Sharif has spent her whole life in Islamic school, but now it’s time to go to real school.Nimra’s nervous, but as long as she has Jenna, her best friend who already goes to the public school, she figures she can take on just about anything.Unfortunately, middle school is hard. The teachers are mean, the schedule is confusing, and Jenna starts giving hijab-wearing Nimra the cold shoulder around the other kids.Desperate to fit in and get back in Jenna’s good graces, Nimra accepts an unlikely invitation to join the school’s popular 8th grade boy band, Barakah Beats. The only problem is, Nimra was taught that music isn’t allowed in Islam, and she knows her parents would be disappointed if they found out. So she devises a simple plan: join the band, win Jenna back, then quietly drop out before her parents find out.But dropping out of the band proves harder than expected. Not only is her plan to get Jenna back working, but Nimra really likes hanging out with the band – they value her contributions and respect how important her faith is to her. Then Barakah Beats signs up for a talent show to benefit refugees, and Nimra’s lies start to unravel. With the show only a few weeks away and Jenna’s friendship hanging in the balance, Nimra has to decide whether to betray her bandmates – or herself.

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Nina: A Story of Nina Simone
Written by & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This illuminating and defining picture book biography illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Christian Robinson, tells the story of little Eunice who grew up to become the acclaimed singer Nina Simone and her bold, defiant, and exultant legacy. Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in small town North Carolina, Nina Simone was a musical child. She sang before she talked and learned to play piano at a very young age. With the support of her family and community, she received music lessons that introduced her to classical composers like Bach who remained with her and influenced her music throughout her life. She loved the way his music began softly and then tumbled to thunder, like her mother’s preaching, and in much the same way as her career. During her first performances under the name of Nina Simone her voice was rich and sweet but as the Civil Rights Movement gained steam, Nina’s voice soon became a thunderous roar as she raised her voice in powerful protest in the fight against racial inequality and discrimination.

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Itzhak: A Boy Who Loved the Violin
Written by Tracy Newman & illustrated by Abigail Halpin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This picture-book biography of violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman will inspire young readers to follow the melody within themselves

Before becoming one of the greatest violinists of all time, Itzhak Perlman was simply a boy who loved music. Raised by a poor immigrant family in a tiny Tel Aviv apartment, baby Itzhak was transformed by the sounds from his family’s kitchen radio—graceful classical symphonies, lively klezmer tunes, and soulful cantorial chants. The rich melodies and vibrant rhythms spoke to him like magic, filling his mind with vivid rainbows of color. After begging his parents for an instrument, Itzhak threw his heart and soul into playing the violin. Despite enormous obstacles—including a near-fatal bout of polio that left him crippled for life—Itzhak persevered, honing his extraordinary gift. When he performed on the Ed Sullivan Show sat only 13, audiences around the world were mesmerized by the warmth, joy, and passion in every note. Gorgeously illustrated with extensive back matter, this picture-book biography recounts Itzhak’s childhood journey—from a boy with a dream to an internationally acclaimed violin virtuoso.

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Silent Night
Written & illustrated by Lara Hawthorne
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Silent night, holy night All is calm, all is bright

Celebrate the magic of Christmas with this beautifully illustrated book, based on the world’s best-loved carol. Rediscover the Nativity Story in all its glory—from quaking shepherds to heaven-sent angels—as the song lyrics are brought to life on every spread. The world’s diversity is reflected in a cast of characters with a range of skin tones. A gorgeous book for all the family to share during the festive season.

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  • For Spacious Skies: Katharine Lee Bates and the Inspiration for "America the Beautiful" - Katharine Lee Bates first wrote the lines to “America the Beautiful” after a stirring visit to Pikes Peak in 1893. But the story behind the song begins with Katharine herself, who pushed beyond conventional expectations of women to become an acclaimed writer, scholar, suffragist, and reformer. Katharine believed in the power of words to make a difference, and in “America the Beautiful,” her vision of the nation as a great family, united from sea to shining sea, continues to uplift and inspire us all.

  • He's Got the Whole World in His Hands - What began as a spiritual has developed into one of America’s best-known songs, and now for the first time it appears as a picture book, masterfully created by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson.Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, Kadir has created a dazzling, intimate interpretation, one that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature.Inspired by the song’s simple message, Kadir sought to capture the joy of living in and engaging with the world. Most importantly, he wished to portray the world as a child might see it–vast and beautiful.

  • Prince - In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Prince, one of the most iconic performers in music history. From a young age, Prince was obsessed with music. Even though he couldn’t read it, his talent–whether on piano, drums, guitar, or vocals–turned him into an icon. Combining funk, disco, soul, and almost every other genre out there, his songs are some of the best-loved all around the world. Prince knew that he didn’t have to be like anyone else to be a star–and there was no one quite like Prince. This inspiring book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the music legend’s life. ​Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

  • Who Was Aretha Franklin? - There is only one QUEEN OF SOUL! Discover why Aretha Franklin garners so much R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Aretha Franklin was a musical and cultural icon whose legacy spanned six decades! Born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942, Aretha got her start singing in front of her father’s Baptist congregation and found minor success as a gospel singer. She then set her sights on becoming a pop music artist and used her powerful voice and impressive skills on the piano to get a record deal. Aretha released her first of many celebrated albums at the age of 18. In 1987, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, making her the first female artist to grace the prestigious list. With iconic hits such as Respect and Think, and countless awards to her name including eighteen Grammys, Aretha Franklin was one of the bestselling artists of all time.

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Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph
Written by Roxane Orgill & illustrated by Francis Vallejo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

What happens when you invite as many jazz musicians as you can to pose for a photo in 1950s Harlem? Playful verse and glorious artwork capture an iconic moment for American jazz. When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn’t own a good camera, didn’t know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians’ mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer’s day. Francis Vallejo’s vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author’s note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane’s famous photograph.

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Lorraine: The Girl Who Sang the Storm Away
Written by Ketch Secor & illustrated by Higgins Bond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The songs they sang always lifted their spirits–on good days or bad it was joyful to hear it.And even when storms hit those Tennessee hills,the music they played made their worries stand still.Grammy Award-winning, founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show, Ketch Secor, and award-winning illustrator Higgins Bond bring an Americana fable to life in this bold, sweeping story. Pa Paw and Lorraine spend their days celebrating life with the music of the Tennessee hills. But when a fearsome storm rolls through, the two must rely on the power of music to get them through.

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Bravo, Amelia Bedelia!
Written by Herman Parish
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Amelia Bedelia returns to play (havoc!) in the school orchestra’s concert. She’s just as happy with a flat bee as with a B flat. And if you need a wind instrument, what works better than an electric fan? Amelia Bedelia’s legion of admirers are sure to applaud this virtuoso performance.

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The Bard and the Beast
Written by Jordan Quinn & illustrated by Robert McPhillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Prince Lucas discovers that sometimes music is the only way to defeat a savage beast in this newest adventure from the fantastical Kingdom of Wrenly series. Prince Lucas does not want to learn to play the lute. He would much rather be outside exploring with his best friend Clara. When a traveling bard pays a visit to the castle, he tries to convince the young prince that there is magic in music, but Lucas isn’t falling for it. And when the two go for a walk in the hills and stumble upon a ferocious monster, Lucas learns that the bard might just be telling the truth after all. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

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Drummer Girl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

It’s talent show time at school, and eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is excited to show her stuff. But as she thinks about her strengths—tree-climbing, mochi making, collage—none of them feel quite right to perform on-stage. Jasmine’s friends already have a talent: Tommy yo-yo’s, Daisy dances, and Linnie plays piano. Plus, Maggie Milsap (aka Miss Perfect) is saying she’ll have the best talent.

When Jasmine’s mom introduces her to the taiko, a traditional Japanese drum, Jasmine finally finds an activity that feels just right. But will she be good enough at taiko in time to beat Maggie Milsap?

Join Jasmine as she discovers her talent—and the difference between being the best and trying your best.

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