Music

Drummer Girl by Karen Bass

The Fourth Down needs a drummer, and Sidney’s easily the best in the school. But the all-male band has conditions for her to be allowed in—such as dressing like a girl. Accustomed to invisibility, Sid soon discovers the consequences to her makeover. It’s not only that playing kit in a skirt is impractical. But as someone once taunted about her sexuality for being a drum-playing girl who likes shop class, now Sid is forced to deal with guys who think her new look makes her fair game. Sidney begins to realize the price of compromising who you really are.(S)

 

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

When Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders, he writes, “Audrey, Wait!” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous. Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. Audrey can?t hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi. Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is. (M, S)

 

Debbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers

Johnny’s had kind of a tough life so far, and he’s always been a bit of a freak. His goth look usually includes black nail polish and a little mascara.When he discovers Debbie Harry, the lead singer of Blondie, he not only likes her music but realizes that he kind of, sort of, wants to BE her. He’d like to be cool and tough and beautiful like her. He’d like to dress like her. He’s not gay, at least he doesn’t think so. So what does it mean? And what should he tell his amazing new girlfriend? (S)

 

Beige by Cecil Castellucci

Dad’s an aging L.A. punk rocker known as the Rat. Daughter’s a buttoned-up neat freak who’d rather be anywhere else. Can this summer be saved? Now that she’s exiled from Canada to sunny Los Angeles, Katy figures she’ll bury her nose in a book and ignore the fact that she’s spending two weeks with her father — punk name: the Rat — a recovered addict and drummer for the famously infamous band Suck. Even though Katy doesn’t want to be there, even though she feels abandoned by her mom, even though the Rat’s place is a mess and he’s not like anything she’d call a father, Katy won’t make a fuss. After all, she’s a nice girl, a girl who is quiet and polite, a girl who smiles, a girl who is, well, beige. Or is she? (M, S)

 

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Nick frequents New York’s indie rock scene nursing a broken heart and Norah is questioning all of her assumptions about the world. Though they have nothing in common except for their taste in music, their chance encounter leads to an all-night quest to find a legendary band’s secret show and ends up becoming the first date that could change both their lives.  (S)

Top

 

A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley

Charlie loves music, and she knows she’s good at it. But she only sings when she’s alone. Charlie’s mom and grandmother have both died, and this summer she’s visiting her grandpa in the country, surrounded by ghosts and grieving family, and serving burgers to the local kids at the milk bar. Rose lives next door to Charlie’s grandfather and spends her days watching cars pass on the freeway and hanging out with her troublemaker boyfriend. She can’t wait to leave their small country town. And she’s figured out a way: she’s won a scholarship to a science school in the city, and now she has to convince her parents to let her go. This is where Charlie comes in. Charlie, who lives in the city, and whom Rose has ignored for years. Charlie, who just might be Rose’s ticket out. (S)

 

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those love songs are all about?  (M, S)

 

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything”—at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help,maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends. (S)

 

Notes from an Accidental Band Geek by Erin Dionne

Elsie Wyatt is a born French horn player, just like her father and her grandfather before her. In order to qualify for the prestigious summer music camp of her dreams, she must expand her musical horizons and join…the marching band. There are no French horns in marching band, but there are some cute boys. And marching band is very different from orchestra: they march, they chant, they…cluck? Elsie is not so sure she’ll survive, but the new friends she’s making and the actual fun she’s having will force her to question her dad’s expectations and her own musical priorities. (M, S)

 

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old cello prodigy Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck… (S)

Top

 

Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius, the stuff of which Lower East Side punk rock legends are made. Never mind that Troy’s dad thinks Curt’s a drug addict and Troy’s brother thinks Troy’s the biggest (literally) loser in Manhattan. Soon, Curt has recruited Troy as his new drummer, even though Troy can’t play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy’s own life, forever.  (S)

 

Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes

The members of the legendary band Lemonade Mouth have been called all of these things. But until now, nobody’s known the inside story of how this powerhouse band came to be. How five outcasts in Opoquonsett High School’s freshman class found each other, found the music, and went on to change both rock and roll and high school as we know it. Wen, Stella, Charlie, Olivia, and Mo take us back to that fateful detention where a dentist’s jingle, a teacher’s coughing fit, and a beat-up ukelele gave birth to Rhode Island’s most influential band. (M, S)

 

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig. The Deal: If she does it, Piper will become the band’s manager and get her share of the profits. The Catch: How can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? And how can she do it when she’s deaf?

Piper can’t hear Dumb’s music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb. (S)

 

Amplified by Tara Kelly

When privileged Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she’s the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn’t think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it… (S)

 

Born to Rock by Gordon Korman

Leo Caraway—high school senior, president of the Young Republicans club, 4.0 GPA, future Harvard student—had his future perfectly planned out. That was, until the X factor. As in Marion X. McMurphy, aka King Maggot, the lead singer of Purge, the most destructive band punk rock has ever seen. He’s also Leo’s biological father. When Leo discovers that his real father is a punk rock legend, he is disgusted. But when he’s falsely accused of cheating on a test, the once star pupil finds his scholarship to Harvard taken away. So he hatches the crazy plan of going on tour with King Maggot for Purge’s summer revival tour, all the while hoping to convince Maggot to pay for his tuition. But life on the road is even crazier than Leo ever bargained for, and before the summer is out, he will finally discover the surprising truth about his dad, his friends, and most important, himself. (M, S)

Top

 

Heavy Metal and You by Christopher Krovatin

Boy listens to lots of loud music and hangs with his friends. Boy meets girl. Boy falls dippy-happy-scared-as-hell in love with girl. Friends meet girl — and aren’t impressed. Girl meets friends — and isn’t impressed. Boy meets big dilemma. Boy plays music even louder. Big dilemma meets big, complicated resolution.  (S)

 

The Disenchantments by Nina Lacour

Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she’s abandoning their plans – and Colby – to start college in the fall. But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what’s next? (S)

 

Guitar Girl by Sarah Manning

Molly Montgomery never planned on becoming famous. Molly’s band, The Hormones, was just supposed to be about mucking around with her best mates, Jane and Tara, and having fun. But when the deliciously dangerous Dean and his friend T join the band, things start happening fast. Soon The Hormones are front-page news, and their debut album is rocketing up the charts. Molly is the force behind the band, but the hazards of fame, first love, screaming fans, and sleazy managers are forcing the newly crowned teen queen of grrl angst close to the edge. Fame never comes for free, and Molly’s about to find out what it costs.  (S)

 

Rock God: The Legend of B.J. Levine by Barnabas Miller

Dear Sammy,

The truth is that the first 13 years of my life before I met you have been super boring. My life didn’t really start until two weeks ago. That was the day I decided to become a full-on, fire-breathing MEGALORD OF RRRRROCK. I mean, just because I have absolutely no musical ability is no reason to give up on my destiny. You see, I found this book that’s going to turn me into a ROCK GOD – no talent required Now all I have to do is survive long enough to read it.

Yours in Rock,
B.J. Levine (M)

 

Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison

Beth has always been “The Beast” – that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever. When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion – for music, and for Beth – leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty. When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek? Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her – one that could shatter everything. (M, S)

Top

 

So Punk Rock (And Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother) by Micol Ostow

Despite his dreams of hipster rock glory, Ari Abramson’s band, the Tribe, is more white bread than indie-cred. Made up of four suburban teens from a wealthy Jewish school, their Mötley Crüe is about as hardcore as SAT prep and scripture studies. But after a one-song gig at a friend’s Bar Mitzvah—a ska cover of “Hava Nagilah”—the Tribe’s popularity erupts overnight. Now, Ari is forced to navigate a minefield of inflated egos, misplaced romance, and the shallowness of indie-rock elitism. It’s a hard lesson in the complex art of playing it cool. (M, S)

 

King Dork by Frank Portman

Tom Henderson is a typical high school loser until he discovers the book, The Catcher in the Rye, that will change the world as he knows it. When Tom discovers his deceased father’s copy of the Salinger classic, he finds himself in the middle of several interlocking conspiracies and at least half a dozen mysteries involving dead people, naked people, fake people, ESP, blood, a secret code, guitars, monks, witchcraft, the Bible, girls, the Crusades, a devil head, and rock and roll. And it all looks like it’s just the tip of a very odd iceberg of clues that may very well unravel the puzzle of his father’s death and–oddly–reveal the secret to attracting girls. Being in a band could possibly be the secret to the girl thing – but good luck finding a drummer who can count to four. (S)

 

The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz

While working full-time at Berkeley’s ultra-cool Bob and Bob Records, 16-year-old Allie develops her secret identity as The Vinyl Princess, author of both a brand-new zine and blog. From the safety of her favorite place on earth, Allie is poised to have it all: love, music and blogging. (M, S)

 
 
Struts and Frets by Jon Skovron

Music is in Sammy’s blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammy’s indie rock band could be huge one day—if they don’t self-destruct first. Winning the upcoming Battle of the Bands would justify all the band’s compromises and reassure Sammy that his life’s dream could become a reality. But practices are hard to schedule when Sammy’s grandfather is sick and getting worse, his mother is too busy to help either of them, and his best friend may want to be his girlfriend. When everything in Sammy’s life seems to be headed for major catastrophe, will his music be enough to keep him together? (S)

 

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

Thirteen-year-old Steven has a totally normal life: he plays drums in the All-Star Jazz band, has a crush on the hottest girl in the school, and is constantly annoyed by his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, Steven’s world is turned upside down. He is forced to deal with his brother’s illness and his parents’ attempts to keep the family in one piece. (M)

Top

 

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Deirdre Monaghan is a shy but gifted musician. She’s about to find out she’s also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have an assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen’s sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren’t so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn’t exactly what she had in mind… (M, S)

 

Somebody Everybody Listens To by Suzanne Supplee

Retta Lee Jones is blessed with a beautiful voice and has big dreams of leaving her tiny Tennessee hometown. With a beaten down car, a pocketful of hard-earned waitressing money, and stars in her eyes, Retta sets out to make it big in Nashville. But the road to success isn’t a smooth one in a town filled with dreamers, and Retta begins to have doubts: can she make her mark while staying true to herself? (M, S)

 

Rock On by Denise Vega

Ori Taylor is the lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of the Band To Be Named Later, a garage band he started with his friends. After years of being known as the kid brother of sports star Del, Ori is looking forward to stepping out of his brother’s shadow, learning to perform in public, and rocking the Battle of the Bands contest. Oh, and maybe finally working up the nerve to talk to a girl in person instead of just over e-mail. But when Del suddenly returns from college, he expects Ori to step back into his role of little brother, just when Ori is starting to come into his own. With his confidence wavering, will Ori be able to overcome his stage fright and lead the band to rock glory? Will the Band To Be Named Later ever get a real name? Will their best performances remain in the garage? (M, S)

 

Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer

Brooke and Kathryn are talented sopranos and rivals in the prestigious Blackmore competition, both hoping for a win that will cement their future in a tough industry, and both still stinging from a past that started with friendship and ended in betrayal. As pressures mount, Brooke starts to sense that the person she hates most might just be the best friend she ever had. But Kathryn has a decision to make. Can she forgive? Or are some rivalries for life? (S)

 

Stringz by Michael Wenberg

Life hasn’t been easy for Jace, a mixed-race teen whose mom moves them from one place to another so often that sometimes he’s been in four schools in a single year. To cope with all that instability, Jace has vowed to never let himself get attached to anyone or anything – other than his beloved cello. But when his mom takes them to Seattle, Jace wonders if this time things might really change. Because money is tight, Jace plays his cello on the street in downtown Seattle, and one evening, someone throws a folded $100 bill with a business card attached into Jace’s open cello case while he’s serenading. That card changes everything; it’s from a famous cello instructor who offers to take him on, giving Jace a shot at winning a large cash prize. Will he make the grade? (M, S)

 

Pay the Piper by Jane Yolen

When Callie McCallan scores a backstage pass to interview the lead singer of the famous band Brass Rat, she’s thrilled. Peter Gringras is so cool. When he plays his flute, it’s as if he has some kind of hypnotic power. But there is something strange about him, something Callie can’t quite put her finger on. Then, on Halloween night, Callie’s little brother Nicky disappears, along with all the other children in town. It’s crazy, but Callie thinks she knows where the children have gone – and who took them. To prove it, and to rescue Nicky and the other children, Callie must journey to a mythical world filled with fantastical creatures. A world from which there may be no return… (M)