An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

Theater: Books For Kids

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

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to theater. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about theater.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

We hope this list of kids books about theater can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

Share this list
Add to list
Amazing Grace
Written by Mary Hoffman & illustrated by Caroline Binch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Although a classmate says that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she is black, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to do.

Add to list
Maisy Goes to a Show
Written & illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Are you ready for the big show? Maisy and her friends show little ones what it’s like to attend their first live performance. Today, Maisy and her friends are off to the theater to see a show starring Flora Fantastica! First they line up to show their tickets. After the usher helps them all find their seats, the lights go down, and Maisy and her friends take in a feast for the senses: dramatic flashing lights, colorful costumes, amazing songs, and lots of exciting characters. From the rise of the curtain through intermission (and snacks) to a standing ovation at the end, Maisy takes her fans on a trip to the theater that makes a new experience familiar and fun.

Add to list
Eva in the Spotlight
Written & illustrated by Rebecca Elliott
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s Eva Wingdale’s time to shine!Pick a book. Grow a Reader!This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!Treetop Owlementary is putting on a play! Eva and her friends can’t wait to try out for parts, learn their lines, and build the sets! But when Sue gets cast in the starring role, Eva worries she won’t have a chance to shine. Will Eva have her moment in the spotlight, too?

Add to list
Red Riding Hood Gets Lost
Written by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Red Riding Hood might have a terrible sense of direction, but her grimmtastic friends are always there to help! Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia… Red Riding Hood is thrilled to try out for the school play. Acting is her dream, and she’s great at it–too bad she has stage fright! After a grimmiserable audition, Red decides to focus on helping her friends Cinda, Snow, and Rapunzel save Grimm Academy from the E.V.I.L. Society. But when Red gets lost in Neverwood forest and runs into Wolfgang, who might be part of E.V.I.L., she needs her magic basket and a grimmazingly dramatic performance to figure out what’s going on!

Add to list
Okay for Now
Written by Gary D. Schmidt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

Beloved author Gary D. Schmidt expertly blends comedy and tragedy in the story of Doug Swieteck, an unhappy “teenage thug” first introduced in The Wednesday Wars, who finds consolation and a sense of possibility in friendship and art. At once heartbreaking and hopeful, this absorbing novel centers on Doug, 14, who has an abusive father, a bully for a brother, a bad reputation, and shameful secrets to keep. Teachers and police and his relatives think he’s worthless, and he believes them, holding others at arm’s length. Newly arrived in town, he starts out on the same path–antagonizing other kids, mouthing off to teachers, contemptuous of everything intimidating or unfamiliar. Who would have thought that the public library would turn out to be a refuge and an inspiration, that a snooty librarian might be a friend, or that snarky redheaded Lil would like him–really like him? With more than his share of pain, including the return of his oldest brother from the Vietnam War, shattered and angry, will Doug find anything better than “okay for now”?

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit - Charlie Joe Jackson, the most reluctant reader ever born, made it his mission in the first book to get through middle school without reading a single book from cover to cover. Now he’s back–and trying desperately to get straight As in order to avoid going to academic camp for the summer. To do this, he will have to betray his friend, lose the girl of his dreams, and end up acting in a school play about the inventor of paper towels. Charlie Joe’s not exactly the school play kind of guy, but desperate times call for desperate measures, in Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Extra Credit by Tommy Greenwald.

  • Violets Are Blue - From the author of the acclaimed My Life in the Fish Tank and Maybe He Just Likes You comes a moving and relatable middle grade novel about secrets, family, and the power of forgiveness. Twelve-year-old Wren loves makeup–special effect makeup, to be exact. When she is experimenting with new looks, Wren can create a different version of herself. A girl who isn’t in a sort-of-best friendship with someone who seems like she hates her. A girl whose parents aren’t divorced and doesn’t have to learn to like her new stepmom. So, when Wren and her mom move to a new town for a fresh start, she is cautiously optimistic. And things seem to fall into place when Wren meets potential friends and gets selected as the makeup artist for her school’s upcoming production of Wicked. Only, Wren’s mom isn’t doing so well. She’s taking a lot of naps, starts snapping at Wren for no reason, and always seems to be sick. And what’s worse, Wren keeps getting hints that things aren’t going well at her new job at the hospital, where her mom is a nurse. And after an opening night disaster leads to a heartbreaking discovery, Wren realizes that her mother has a serious problem–a problem that can’t be wiped away or covered up. After all the progress she’s made, can Wren start over again with her devastating new normal? And will she ever be able to heal the broken trust with her mom?

  • Drama at Mouseford - Join Thea Stilton and the Thea Sisters on an adventure through Mouseford Academy!To celebrate Mouse Academy’s 600th anniversary, the headmaster and teachers decide to stage a performance of William Squeakspeare’s favorite play Mouseo & Juliet! The Thea Sisters all want the part of Juliet, but so does their rival, Ruby Flashyfur. Who will be the star of the show?

  • No Biz Like Show Biz - When Miriam gets Suzanne’s role in the school play (that is, the role Suzanne thinks belongs to her), Katie knows there will be trouble. But she certainly doesn’t plan on being involved in it! Unfortunately, the magic wind has plans of its own–it turns Katie into Miriam just before the show! Katie doesn’t know the lines and she can’t sing. Will the show go on? Will it go on with Suzanne instead?

Add to list
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?

Add to list
Cooper
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Welcome to the Puppy Place–where every puppy finds a home! While rehearsing for a play, Charles meets Cooper, a corgi with a whole lot of personality. Charles only feels comfortable onstage with Cooper there with him. Can Charles find this star of a pup a home?

Add to list
The Chance to Fly
Written by Stacy Davidowitz and Ali Stroker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A heartfelt middle-grade novel about a theater-loving girl who uses a wheelchair for mobility and her quest to defy expectations–and gravity–from Tony award-winning actress Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz Thirteen-year-old Nat Beacon loves a lot of things: her dog Warbucks, her best friend Chloe, and competing on her wheelchair racing team, the Zoomers, to name a few. But there’s one thing she’s absolutely OBSESSED with: MUSICALS! From Hamilton to Les Mis, there’s not a cast album she hasn’t memorized and belted along to. She’s never actually been in a musical though, or even seen an actor who uses a wheelchair for mobility on stage. Would someone like Nat ever get cast? But when Nat’s family moves from California to New Jersey, Nat stumbles upon auditions for a kids’ production of Wicked, one of her favorite musicals ever! And she gets into the ensemble! The other cast members are super cool and inclusive (well, most of them)– especially Malik, the male lead and cutest boy Nat’s ever seen. But when things go awry a week before opening night, will Nat be able to cast her fears and insecurities aside and “Defy Gravity” in every sense of the song title?

Add to list
Alice-Miranda Takes the Stage
Written by Jacqueline Harvey
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Girls who are fans of Judy Moody, Matilda and Clementine will love spunky Alice-Miranda!Alice-Miranda is thrilled to be back at Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies, where the girls are rehearsing a play with the neighboring boys’ school. But it’s not all glamour and stage lights: there are rumors of a witch in the woods, and Alice-Miranda’s friends, Jacinta and Millie, are clashing with Sloan Sykes, a rude new student whose pushy mother comes up with a get-rich scheme that could have disastrous results. When Alice-Miranda learns of the plot, she tries to set things right–and on the night of the big performance, no less!

Add to list
Nate Expectations
Written by Tim Federle
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

“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.

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Jacky Ha-Ha: A Graphic Novel - Adapted from James Patterson’s #1 bestselling story, this hilarious and heartwarming graphic novel introduces Jacky Ha-Ha, a class clown who makes people laugh with her so they can’t laugh at her! With her irresistible urge to tell a joke in every situation–even when it’s a bad idea–Jacky Ha-Ha loves to make people laugh. And cracking wise helps distract her from thinking about not-so-funny things in her life, like her mom serving in a dangerous, faraway war, and a dad who’s hardly ever home. But no matter how much fun Jacky has, she can’t entirely escape her worries. So one starlit night, she makes a promise to keep her family together…even if she has to give up the one thing that makes her happy. But can she stop being Jacky Ha-Ha, if that’s who she really is?Bright, funny, and fast-paced artwork will have readers laughing their way through Jacky’s ha-ha-heartwarming story!

  • Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece - In this inspiring true story, beloved artist Patricia Polacco conquers her fear of public speaking, allowing her to discover her remarkable voice. A wonderful companion to Thank You, Mr. Falker and The Art of Miss Chew, it celebrates the lifelong impact of a great teacher. Speaking in front of an audience terrifies Trisha. Ending up in Mr. Wayne’s drama class is the last thing she wants! But Mr. Wayne gives her a backstage role painting scenery for the winter play. As she paints, she listens to the cast rehearse, memorizing their lines without even realizing it. Then, days before opening night, the lead actress suddenly moves away, and Trisha is the only other person who knows her part. Will the play have to be canceled? It won’t be an easy road–when Trisha tries to recite the lines in front of the cast, nothing comes out! But Mr. Wayne won’t let her give up, and with his coaching, Trisha is able to become one of his true masterpieces.

  • My Life Is a Joke - In the #1 New York Times bestselling series, class clown Jacky Hart is a triple threat onstage and she wants to act and sing all summer long – but her parents have other plans.Jacky Hart has found a hidden talent in the performing arts, and she’s a triple threat onstage! She wants nothing more than to act and sing all summer – but her parents have other plans for her. Jacky reluctantly signs up for a summer job in her resort town of Seaside Heights, New Jersey, where tourists come to enjoy the beach and fun carnival atmosphere.Now she has serious responsibilities like her job and babysitting her younger sisters, but Jacky longs to perform in the summer stock performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Can she handle all of her important commitments and still have fun with her friends – or will she learn that juggling isn’t one of her many talents?James Patterson’s middle grade jokester Jacky returns in this wild romp through summer in the Jersey Shore, featuring lively illustrations by French artist duo Kerascoët.

  • Star-Crossed - Twelve-year-old Mattie wrestles with her crush on Gemma as they participate in their school production of Romeo and Juliet in what School Library Journal calls “a fine choice for middle school libraries in need of an accessible LGBTQ stories.” Twelve-year-old Mattie is thrilled when she learns the eighth grade play will be Romeo and Juliet. In particular, she can’t wait to share the stage with Gemma Braithwaite, who has been cast as Juliet. Gemma is brilliant, pretty—and British!—and Mattie starts to see her as more than just a friend. But Mattie has also had an on/off crush on her classmate Elijah since, well, forever. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things offstage are beginning to resemble their own Shakespearean drama: the cast is fighting, and the boy playing Romeo may not be up to the challenge of the role. And due to a last-minute emergency, Mattie is asked to step up and take over the leading role—opposite Gemma’s Juliet—just as Mattie’s secret crush starts to become not-so-secret in her group of friends. In this funny, sweet, and clever look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to become a lead player in her own life.

Add to list
Drama
Written & illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

From Raina Telgemeier, the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning author of Smile and Sisters!Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department’s stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

Add to list
Miss Laney Is Zany!
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

The weirdness never stops!A.J. has to go see Miss Laney, the speech teacher, which makes no sense at all because he already knows how to talk. Miss Laney has him say weird tongue twisters and forces him to be the lead in the third-grade play, Romeo & Juliet. And you’ll never guess in a million hundred years who’s going to play Juliet. Will there be kissing? Ew, disgusting!

Add to list
Tune It Out
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

From the author of the acclaimed Roll with It comes a moving novel about a girl with a sensory processing disorder who has to find her own voice after her whole world turns upside down. Lou Montgomery has the voice of an angel, or so her mother tells her and anyone else who will listen. But Lou can only hear the fear in her own voice. She’s never liked crowds or loud noises or even high fives; in fact, she’s terrified of them, which makes her pretty sure there’s something wrong with her. When Lou crashes their pickup on a dark and snowy road, child services separate the mother-daughter duo. Now she has to start all over again at a fancy private school far away from anything she’s ever known. With help from an outgoing new friend, her aunt and uncle, and the school counselor, she begins to see things differently. A sensory processing disorder isn’t something to be ashamed of, and music might just be the thing that saves Lou–and maybe her mom, too.

Add to list
Marsupial Sue Presents "The Runaway Pancake"
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“I’m too fast, you’re too slow. Pan, pan, patty-cake pan, I can get away from you, I can!” The much-loved story of the Runaway Pancake who pops out of the oven and is sure he can escape all who want to eat him, is given a new spin when Marsupial Sue and her friends put on a play version for their neighborhood. This has all of the wit and whimsy of Marsupial Sue and again features lively illustrations by Jack E. Davis. From the friends’ preparations behind the scenes to the actors’ final bows, readers will be inspired by the production. A CD recording of John Lithgow’s live performance of the song “The Runaway Pancake” is also included.

Add to list
Thea Stilton and the Missing Myth
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Join Thea Stilton and the Thea Sisters on an adventure packed with mystery and friendship!While on vacation in Greece, the Thea Sisters make friends with a company of actors. They are rehearsing for a show that’s about to open – and Colette ends up standing in for an actress who falls ill! Suddenly, right before the performance, the lead actor goes missing. Can the mouselets find him in time for the show to go on?

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Captain Awesome Saves the Winter Wonderland - A new villain threatens to put “the big freeze” on the second grade’s holiday play. Can the Sunnyview Superhero Squad save the show? Eugene and Charlie can hardly wait for Sunnyview Elementary’s holiday spectacular, “The Winter Wonderland.” These superhero pals are prepared to give it all they’ve got as members of the Snowflake Symphony. MI-TEE! Captain Awesome and Nacho Cheese Man’s superhero skills are called into action when an all-new villain threatens to ruin the second graders’ performance. Can the Sunnyview Superhero Squad save the show? With easy-to-read text and illustrations on almost every page, the Captain Awesome chapter books are perfect for beginning readers!

  • Babymouse: The Musical - NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and Newbery Honor winning author Jennifer Holm teams up with Matthew Holm to bring you a fully illustrated graphic novel series packed with humor and kid appeal–BABYMOUSE! With multiple Children’s Choice awards and over 1.7 million books in print, kids, parents, and teachers agree that Babymouse is perfect for fans of Junie B. Jones, Ivy and Bean, Big Nate, Dork Diaries, and the Ramona chapter books! Dust off your dancing shoes! Babymouse and the gang are taking center stage in the feel-good book of the season! Will Babymouse get the lead in the school musical or will Felicia Furrypaws steal the show? Find out in The Musical–the 10th hilarious, action-packed installment of the beloved Babymouse graphic novel series! Here’s what people are saying about Babymouse! The Chicago Sun-Times: Move over, Superman, here comes Babymouse! Starred Review, The Horn Book: Nobody puts Babymouse in the corner! Booklist: Cute, smart, sassy Babymouse is fun and funny, and this book, like its predecessors, will draw reluctant readers as well as Babymouse fans. The Bulletin: An almost absurdly likeable heroine.

  • The Importance of Being Earnest - Mr Worthing invents a brother, Earnest, as an excuse to leave his dull life behind him to pursue Gwendolyn. While across town Algernon Montecrieff decides to take the name Earnest, when visiting Worthing’s young ward Cecily. The real fun and confusion begins when the two end up together and their deceptions are in danger of being revealed.

  • Unicorn Theater - New York Times Bestselling Author! The second Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novel! Summer is here, and Phoebe and Marigold are headed to drama camp. Phoebe’s expecting some quality time with her best friend, but in a surprise twist, Marigold has invited her sister, Florence Unfortunate Nostrils! While the unicorn sisters head to camp in a magical rainbow pod, Phoebe is stuck riding with her parents in their boring car, wondering where it all went wrong. But at Camp Thespis, there are more daunting tasks at hand: writing, producing, and acting in an entirely original play! The second Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novel is a sparkling tale of sisterhood and summer fun, as well as a reminder that sometimes it takes a bit of drama to recognize true friendship.

Add to list
Act 2
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Cast opposite each other when their middle school stages a production of Guys and Dolls, Jack and Lou find their ambitions of stardom threatened by a mysterious new director, a Broadway-level dance call and a new stage competitor.

Add to list
The Case of the Vanishing Emerald
Written by & illustrated by Marion Lindsay
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“Isnt it a bit strange that all these horrible things are happening to Miss Massey now… Just in time to make her think that the curse is working.” Sarah Massey, talented lead actress in Circus Sweethearts, is a mess. She should be dancing on air–after all, her boyfriend just proposed. But she has lost his gift: a beautiful emerald necklace with a storied history. Rumor has it whoever loses the necklace will be cursed, and now everything around Miss Massey is falling apart. She turns to Maisie Hitchins and her dog, Eddie, for help. But when Maisie shows up at the London theater, things only get stranger. Maisie begins to wonder if it’s really the lost emerald causing all of these problems, or if someone in the troupe is green with envy . . .This follow up to the Case of the Stolen Sixpence is the second book in The Mysteries of Maisie Hitchins series.

Add to list
All about Ellie
Written by Callie Barkley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

The Critter Club has baby bunnies to care for–but is Ellie too busy aiming for showstopper status to help out her friends? The Critter Club is up and running, and so are the girls–especially Ellie! She’s wanted to perform her entire life, so when she lands the lead role in Santa Vista Elementary School’s Spring Spectacular, it’s her big chance to show her stuff! But as Ellie’s big performance draws near, will she let the play and her determination to succeed get in the way of being a good friend? What about caring for the baby rabbits that were just brought to The Critter Club? Some very helpful advice from an unexpected source reminds Ellie that being a good friend is just as important as doing what you love. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Critter Club chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

Add to list
Nancy Clancy, Star of Stage and Screen
Written by Jane O'Connor & illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

In this fun chapter book, it’s Nancy’s time to shine as she takes center stage in the school play. There’s no way Nancy will get stuck in the chorus again this year–she’s been practicing guitar for months and her audition was superb!When Nancy gets a callback, she’s overwhelmed with joy. But after Nancy’s performance during the play is captured on video and gets posted on YouTube, it seems her stardom has gone viral. Will Nancy’s humiliation get the best of her, or will she find a way to embrace her newfound fame?Nancy Clancy is ready for her close-up in the fifth installment in the Nancy Clancy chapter book series by New York Times bestselling team Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser. Fans will enjoy watching Nancy sparkle in the spotlight!

Add to list
Gracefully Grayson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

“Tenderly and courageously told, Gracefully Grayson is a small miracle of a book. Its story is so compelling I found myself holding my breath as I read it and so intimate I felt as if what was happening to Grayson was happening to me. Thank you, Ami Polonsky, for creating this memorable character who will open hearts and minds and very possibly be the miracle that changes lives.” -James Howe, award-winning and best-selling author of The Misfits What if who you are on the outside doesn’t match who you are on the inside? Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher’s wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit? Debut author Ami Polonsky’s moving, beautifully-written novel about identity, self-esteem, and friendship shines with the strength of a young person’s spirit and the enduring power of acceptance. Praise for Gracefully Grayson “Don’t be intimidated when I say that Gracefully Grayson is an important book. (It is.) It’s also a brave, exhilarating, heart-stopping, roller-coaster ride of self-discovery that will leave you cheering.” -Dean Pitchford, Oscar-winning songwriter and award-winning author of Captain Nobody and Nickel Bay Nick “In this sweet and thoughtful debut, an introverted sixth grader begins to come into her own as a transgender girl. The writing is clear and effortless, with a straightforward plot and likable characters. Grayson is a charming narrator who balances uncertainty with clarity, bravery with anxiety. This title has less obvious and didactic intent than other novels featuring transgender protagonists. A welcome addition to a burgeoning genre.” -School Library Journal “Thoughtfully told through Grayson’s eyes, the story conveys his angst, hurt, loss, and emerging confidence as he struggles with a whirlwind of emotions. His new friends allow him to find the courage to become who “she” really is, and we are privileged to watch the transformation take place. With great courage, Polonsky’s debut novel reminds us with much sensitivity that we are all unique and deserve to become who we are meant to be.” -Booklist “Polonsky captures the loneliness of a child resigned to disappear rather than be rejected, and then the courageous risk that child eventually takes to be seen for who she is. The first-person narration successfully positions readers to experience Grayson’s confusion, fear, pain, and triumphs as they happen, lending an immediate and intimate feel to the narrative.” -Horn Book

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Wished - The fifth installment in the beloved Fairy Tale Reform School series where the teachers are (former) villainsBe careful what you wish for…With big-time villains Rumpelstiltskin and Alva still on the loose and the citizens of Enchantasia on high alert, things at Fairy Tale Reform School have been a little…stressed. So when Maxine finds an old lamp that turns out to house an overly-enthusiastic genie, she knows exactly what to do; wish for everyone to be happy! But the wish has some unexpected consequences…suddenly, ex-villains are singing, trolls and ogres are getting along, and the whole school is more focused on putting on a musical than figuring out how to deal with Rumpelstiltskin. Can Gilly help Maxine break the spell before it’s too late?This series is perfect for read-alongs between parents and kids and engaging reluctant readers.

  • Five, Six, Seven, Nate! - “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 Winner of the Lambda Literary Award Encore! Nate Foster’s Broadway dreams are finally coming true in this sequel to Better Nate Than Ever that Publishers Weekly calls a “funny, tender coming-of-age story.” Armed with a one-way ticket to New York City, small-town theater geek Nate is off to start rehearsals for E.T.: The Broadway Musical. It’s everything he ever practiced his autograph for! But as thrilling as Broadway is, rehearsals are nothing like Nate expects: full of intimidating child stars, cut-throat understudies, and a director who can’t even remember Nate’s name. Now, as the countdown to opening night is starting to feel more like a time bomb, Nate is going to need more than his lucky rabbit’s foot if he ever wants to see his name in lights. He may even need a showbiz miracle. The companion novel to Better Nate Than Ever, which The New York Times called “inspired and inspiring,” Five, Six, Seven, Nate! is full of secret admirers, surprise reunions, and twice the drama of middle school…with a lot more glitter.

  • The 12 Screams of Christmas - The infamous, Most Wanted Goosebumps characters are out on the loose and after you. For the first time ever, it’s a Goosebumps Christmas! Kate Welles doesn’t want to be special. She just wants to play the lead in her school’s Christmas play. Her annoying “friend” Courtney is constantly getting in the way of that. Can you even call someone a “friend” if all they do is make fun of you and ruin everything all of the time? But Kate has to get along with Courtney or else neither of them will be allowed to take part in The 12 Screams of Christmas. Kate and Courtney’s teacher decides they need to find a special place to rehearse. A certain house with a special history. The kind of place that Kate would normally be pretty frightened to go into. The kind of place that gives new meaning to the term: Christmas Spirit.

  • Where Is Broadway? - Take your seats, because Where Is Broadway? is ready to take center stage! In a lively and engaging style, authors Douglas Yacka and Francesco Sedita cover the development of the first theaters and the birth of the American musical, as well as the shows and stars that have become Broadway legends. Readers will get the inside story on their favorite shows and may even discover some new ones.

Add to list
Holly's Jolly Christmas
Written by Nancy Krulik
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

What’s better than getting one new Katie story? Getting two! With this Super Special, kids can get into the holiday spirit by following Katie’s latest misadventures, first at a Christmas tree farm and then at a Santa’s Workshop theme park, where she switcheroos into . . . Well, we won’t spoil the surprise, but here’s a hint: she doesn’t have a red nose but she sure has antlers!

Add to list
Help! It's Parents Day at DSA
Written by Kate Mcmullan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

It’s visiting day at Dragon Slayers’ Academy and Wiglaf’s entire family is coming! Will Wiglaf be able to survive the day with his wacky parents and crude older brothers and come out of it without becoming the laughingstock of the entire school? Hot on the heels of book #9, here’s another all-new story starring everyone’s favorite dragon-slayer-in-training.

Add to list
Marty McGuire
Written by Kate Messner & illustrated by Brian Floca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A fun, accessible chapter-book debut from an exciting new talent–simultaneous hardcover-paperback launch! Marty McGuire would rather spend recess catching frogs in the pond than playing dress-up with the other girls in third grade. So when her teacher casts Marty as the princess in the class play, Marty’s absolutely, positively sure that there’s been a huge mistake. But after a special lesson in the art of improvisation, Marty comes up with her OWN plan to IMPROVE the play: Why use stuffed-animal frog onstage when a live one would be so much better? In the end, Marty’s one-of-a-kind performance makes for an unforgettable show. Maybe Marty CAN live happily ever after, after all!

Add to list
Horrible Harry Bugs the Three Bears
Written by Suzy Kline & illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Horrible Harry has always loved insects, especially digging in the dirt for them. And, recently, he’s discovered a new favorite: earwigs! But when he tries to tell his friends about these critters, only Song Lee listens. So when Miss Mackle assigns groups in Room 3B to act out different fairy tales, Harry sees an opportunity to teach the class about his favorite bug. Will they think his play is hilarious…or horrible?

Add to list
Theater Shoes
Written by Noel Streatfeild
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A beautiful gift edition of the beloved classic about three orphan siblings and their love of music, theater, and dance. When orphans Sorrel, Mark, and Holly are sent to live with their grandmother, a famous English actress, she enrolls them in the Children’s Academy of Dancing and Stage Training, the same Academy that made the orphans from Ballet Shoes famous so long ago. It’s the chance of a lifetime, but the Academy won’t give the children the proper education their parents would have wanted. However, the children learn to love the Academy when they find out that Sorrel has dramatic flair, Mark can sing, and Holly charms everyone with her adorable impish ways. Maybe talent does run in the family. This classic children’s book is perfect for kids who dream of being on stage–dancing, singing, or acting. Don’t miss the other classic Noel Streatfeild books, Ballet Shoes, Skating Shoes, and Dancing Shoes!

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Kenny & the Dragon - What do you do when your new best buddy has been designated a scourge by the community and marked for imminent extermination? Just ask Kenny Rabbit. When the simple folks in the sleepy little village of Roundbrook catch wind that there’s a dragon running loose in the countryside, they get the wrong idea and the stage is set for a fight to the death. So it’s up to Kenny to give his neighbors front-row seats to one of the best-known battles in history – the legendary showdown between St. George and the dragon – without losing a friend in the fray.

  • Thanksgiving Turkey Trouble - With more than two million copies sold, READY, FREDDY! is a huge success with first-grade readers! It’s a Thanksgiving disaster for Freddy Thresher! When his first-grade class begins planning the annual Thanksgiving play, everyone will have a role. Freddy’s friends are all happy to be Pilgrims and Indians, but there is one part that nobody wants to be-the turkey! Freddy hopes he won’t get the part, but-you guessed it-he gets the unlucky role. Now Freddy has to find a way to play the turkey while everyone is laughing at him.

  • Replay - Leo’s papa stood in the doorway, gazing down at him. “Leo, you make gold from pebbles,” and the way he said it, Leo could tell that this was a good thing. He may have been given a bit part in the school play … but Leo dreams he is the biggest star on Broadway. Sure, his big, noisy family makes him feel like a sardine squashed in a tin … but in his fantasy he gets all the attention he wants. Yes, his papa seems sad and distracted … but Leo imagines him as a boy, tap-dancing and singing with delight. That’s why they call Leo “fog boy.” He’s always dreaming, always replaying things in his brain. He fantasizes about who he is in order to discover who he will become. As an actor in the school play, he is poised and ready for the curtain to open. But in the play that is his life, Leo is eager to discover what part will be his.

  • Stage Fright on a Summer Night - The show must go on! That’s what Jack and Annie learn when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to Elizabethan England. There they meet William Shakespeare himself—one of the greatest writers of all time! But Mr. Shakespeare’s having a hard time with some of the actors in his latest show. Are Jack and Annie ready to make a big entrance? Or will it be curtains for Shakespeare?

Add to list
Bookmarks Are People Too!
Written by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Hank stars the same Hank as in the bestselling Hank Zipzer series, only this time he’s in 2nd grade! Hank is a kid who doesn’t try to be funny, but he somehow always makes the kids in his class laugh. He’s pretty bad at memorizing stuff, and spelling is his worst subject. (But so are math and reading!) In the first book in this new series, Hank’s class is putting on a play, and Hank wants the lead part: Aqua Fly. But he freezes in his audition and can only buzz like a fly. His teacher creates a special part for Hank, a silent bookmark. This may seem like an insignificant role, but when his enemy, Nick McKelty, freezes during the performance, it’s up to Hank to save the play!

Add to list
Better Nate Than Ever
Written by Tim Federle
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

An eighth-grader who dreams of performing in a Broadway musical devises a plan to run away to New York and audition for the role of Elliot in the musical version of E.T.

Add to list
The School Play Mystery
Written by David A. Adler
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

The school play is about honest Abe Lincoln, but someone has been less than honest with the admission money. Can Cam, with the click of her photographic memory, find the missing money before the thief makes his getaway?

Add to list
Annie and Snowball and the Shining Star
Written by Cynthia Rylant & illustrated by Sucie Stevenson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Annie is the star of a school play in this Level 2 Ready-to-Read story from the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award-winning creators of Henry and Mudge! Annie is excited for her school play. She gets to be a star and wear a costume that sparkles and shines! Annie practices and practices in front of her cousin, Henry, and his big dog, Mudge, to prepare. But when the big night comes, Annie is nervous and scared. Can Annie’s family and pet bunny, Snowball, help to calm her before the show begins?

Add to list
The Ghost in the First Row
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.