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Music

THE LEGENDARY MISS LENA HORNE

The Legendary Miss Lena Horne
Author Information
Author's Last Name: 
Weatherford
Author's First Name: 
Carole Boston
Illustrator's First Name: 
Elizabeth
Illustrator's Last Name: 
Zunon
Publisher: 
Simon & Schuster (Atheneum)
Publication Date: 
2017
2017 Nomination (not yet selected): 
This picture book biography features simple yet powerful writing and stunning illustrations made from oil paints and collage. Weatherford highlights the ups and downs of the remarkable life of Lena Horne, who spoke up for civil rights and paved the way for future African American entertainers. Overall, this is a beautiful book with an inspiring message for young readers. Meaghan McKeron. Seven to Ten.

SOLDIER SONG: A TRUE STORY OF THE CIVIL WAR

Author Information
Author's Last Name: 
Levy
Author's First Name: 
Debbie
Illustrator's First Name: 
Gilbert
Illustrator's Last Name: 
Ford
Publisher: 
Disney (Hyperion)
Publication Month: 
February
Publication Date: 
2017
2017 Nomination (not yet selected): 
A story of the Battle of Fredericksburg and the power of music for both sides of the Civil war, especially the emotional impact of Home Sweet Home. The theme is what unites vs. what divides us. Levy quotes from letters from both soldiers to those at home, usually written by very young participants. All reflect on the desire to rejoin loved ones. Similar to the response of those "higher up" to the soccer game that united both sides during WWI, bands on both sides were banned from playing Home Sweet Home less it dis-spirit the soldiers but it continued to be played. Extensive end notes add information about the Battle, the creation of the song and a time line of the Civil War. An important part in this divisive time. Edie Ching (ages 7-10)

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

The Sound of Silence cover
Author Information
Author's Last Name: 
Goldsaito
Author's First Name: 
Katrina
Illustrator's First Name: 
Julia
Illustrator's Last Name: 
Kuo
Publisher: 
Little, Brown
Publication Date: 
2016

 Yoshio, who laughs at the sound of his own giggles as he splash-dances in Tokyo’s rain, is determined to find the sound the elderly koto players says is her favorite: the elusive sound of “ma,” or silence.

THE SERPENT KING

The Serpent King
Author Information
Author's Last Name: 
Zentner
Author's First Name: 
Jeff
Publisher: 
Penguin (Crown/Random House)
Publication Month: 
March
Publication Date: 
2016

 Three misfit high school friends traverse triumphs and heartbreak in their small Tennessee town. Distinct voices, a strong sense of place, and issues of class, religion, and opportunity are explored in this brilliant debut.

ECHO [AUDIOBOOK]

Author Information
Author's Last Name: 
Ryan
Author's First Name: 
Pam Munoz
Narrator's First Name: 
Mark
Narrator's Last Name: 
Bramhall
Publisher: 
Abrams
Publication Date: 
2015

 A harmonica connects three main stories set in Germany, Pennsylvania, and California during the WWII era. Music figures largely in the story and the audiobook format allows the music to be fully integrated. This audiobook takes an already strong novel to an even higher level.

DRUM DREAM GIRL: HOW ONE GIRL'S COURAGE CHANGED MUSIC

Author Information
Author's Last Name: 
Engle
Author's First Name: 
Margarita
Illustrator's First Name: 
Rafael
Illustrator's Last Name: 
Lopez
Publisher: 
Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: 
2015

 A young girl in Cuba dreams of drumming, something “only boys do,” and makes her musical dreams real. Inspired by the life of Millo Zaldarriaga. Colorful, whimsical illustrations bring Cuba and its culture to life.

WHEN THE BEAT WAS BORN: DJ KOOL HERC AND THE CREATION OF HIP HOP

Author Information
Author's Last Name: 
Hill
Author's First Name: 
Laban Carrick
Illustrator's First Name: 
Theodore
Illustrator's Last Name: 
Taylor III
Publisher: 
Roaring Brook
Publication Date: 
2013

Bright, stylized illustrations show young Jamaican Clive’s passion for music. He moved to New York’s Bronx and transformed into DJ Kool Herc by using two turntables to play hip-hop breaks for adoring street dancers, thereby creating a new American music form.

THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE

Author Information
Author's Last Name: 
Sales
Author's First Name: 
Leila
Publisher: 
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication Date: 
2013

Elise decides that completely transforming herself will be the only way she can survive sophomore year. When unsuccessful, her complex character weaves into a beautifully-plotted story that discloses her rescue through an unexpected source.

 

BETTER NATE THAN EVER

Author Information
Author's Last Name: 
Federle
Author's First Name: 
Tim
Publisher: 
Simon & Schuster BFYR
Publication Date: 
2013

With help from his “BFF” Libby, thirteen-year-old Nate endeavors to escape his small town to audition on Broadway, resulting in hilarious misadventures and poignant self-discovery. Undercurrents of age-appropriate sexual identity, bullying, and family problems, fuel this well-paced plot.

This Song Will Save Your Life

Author Information
Author's Last Name: 
Sales
Author's First Name: 
Leila
Publisher: 
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication Month: 
September
Publication Date: 
2013
2017 Nomination (not yet selected): 
After a failed attempt to assimilate with the high school masses, 16-year-old Elise Dumbowski contemplates suicide - only to have that backfire as well. Alone and lonely, she stumbles upon an underground dance club while walking around one night to clear her head. At the club she finds more than friendship. Standing behind the turntables, she finds her passion, talent, and ultimately, herself. This book had me at hello. Elise’s dry humor and pragmatic approach to life are a winning combination. Her voice is honest, funny and rings 100% authentic. She is a character that will connect with teen readers, wherever their place in the high school hierarchy. A thoughtfully drawn cast of secondary characters including parents and siblings who aren’t invisible, classmates who range from cruel to well-meaning to un-noticed and dance club kids rounds out this character-driven novel. Insightful writing that encapsulates big ideas in simple ways drives the novel forward and keeps the reader looking to Elise as a source for humor and honesty. I was struck by passages like “...Sometimes when you are worn down, day after day, relentlessly, with no reprieve for years piled on years, sometimes you lose everything but the ability to cry.” (p.12) “Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe they’re right.” (p. 241) “But you know better than anyone else how the Internet sees everything and nothing, all at the same time.” (p. 262) And the music! Not only do the songs and bands mentioned throughout the novel make you want to put together an iTunes playlist to put yourself in the club with Elise (even when you don’t know the song or the artist), but a list “Recommended Listening” is included after the acknowledgments that gives a full listing of title and artist to get interested readers started.
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