March to the Beat of a Different Drummer

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March to the beat of a different drummer! (Get it? Because it’s March?) Check out these books for music lovers.

Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. GoingLemonade Mouth by Mark Peter HughesAudrey, Wait! by Robin BenwayScott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'MalleyTen Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark DowellGood Enough by Paula Yoo

  • Anthony, Jessica and Corral, Rodrigo. Chopsticks.
    In a love story told in photographs and drawings, Glory, a brilliant piano prodigy, is drawn to Frank, an artistic new boy, and the farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness until the only song she is able to play is “Chopsticks.”
  • Benway, Robin. Audrey, Wait!
    While trying to score a date with her cute co-worker at the Scooper Dooper, sixteen-year-old Audrey gains unwanted fame and celebrity status when her ex-boyfriend, a rock musician, records a breakup song about her that soars to the top of the Billboard charts.
  • Cohn, Rachel. Pop Princess.
    Yearning to escape the small Massachusetts town where her family retreated after her sister’s death, Wonder Blake gets her chance when her sister’s manager offers Wonder a record contract on her sixteenth birthday.
  • Dessen, Sarah. This Lullabye.
    Raised by a mother who has had five husbands, eighteen-year-old Remy believes in short-term, no-commitment relationships until she meets Dexter, a rock band musician.
  • Donnelly, Jennifer. Revolution.
    An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy–Louis Charles, the lost king of France.
  • Dowell, Frances O’Roark. Ten Miles Past Normal.
    Because living with “modern-hippy” parents on a goat farm means fourteen-year-old Janie Gorman cannot have a normal high school life, she tries joining Jam Band, making friends with Monster, and spending time with elderly former civil rights workers.
  • Forman, Gayle. If I Stay.
    While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.
  • Going, K. L. Fat Kid Rules the World.
    Seventeen-year-old Troy, depressed, suicidal, and weighing nearly 300 pounds, gets a new perspective on life when a homeless teenager who is a genius on guitar wants Troy to be the drummer in his rock band.
  • Hughes, Mark Peter. Lemonade Mouth.
    A disparate group of high school students thrown together in detention form a band to play at a school talent show and end up competing with a wildly popular local rock band.
  • John, Anthony. Five Flavors of Dumb.
    Eighteen-year-old Piper becomes the manager for her classmates’ popular rock band, called Dumb, giving her the chance to prove her capabilities to her parents and others, if only she can get the band members to get along.
  • LaCour, Nina. The Disenchantments.
    Colby’s post-high school plans have long been that he and his best friend Beth would tour with her band, then spend a year in Europe, but when she announces that she will start college just after the tour, Colby struggles to understand why she changed her mind and what losing her means for his future.
  • Martinez, Jessica. Virtuosity. 
    Just before the most important violin competition of her career, seventeen-year-old prodigy Carmen faces critical decisions about her anti-anxiety drug addiction, her controlling mother, and a potential romance with her most talented rival.
  • Miller, Barnabas. Rock God: The Legend of BJ Levine.
    When geeky middle-schooler B.J. Levine moves from Cleveland to New York City, he discovers his true purpose in life–to become a rock god. But in order to realize his destiny, he will have to battle disapproving parents, a mysterious group of middle-aged bikers, and his own apparent lack of musical talent.
  • Nelson, Blake. Rock Star Superstar.
    When Pete, a talented bass player, moves from playing in the high school jazz band to playing in a popular rock group, he finds the experience exhilarating even as his new fame jeopardizes his relationship with girlfriend Margaret.
  • O’Malley, Bryan Lee. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life.
    Scott Pilgrim’s fantastic life takes an unforseen turn when rollerblading delivery girl Ramona Flowers makes her appearance.
  • Sonnenblick, Jordan. Notes from the Midnight Driver.
    After being assigned to perform community service at a nursing home, sixteen-year-old Alex befriends a cantankerous old man who has some lessons to impart about jazz guitar playing, love, and forgiveness.
  • Yoo, Paula. Good Enough.
    A Korean American teenager tries to please her parents by getting into an Ivy League college, but a new guy in school and her love of the violin tempt her in new directions.
  • Zakarin, Debra Mostow. Glee : the official William Mckinley High School Yearbook.
    Documents the senior year of such characters as Rachel Berry, Kirt Hummel, and Finn Hudson, in an official fan’s reference that celebrates the misadventures and slushies of a memorable year at William McKinley High.

Thanks to Jennie for sharing her Grammy Award Reading List, which inspired this one!

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