Teens

Music + Books = Soundtracks for Books!

Jennifer's picture

Recently I learned that some authors are creating music playlist to go with their books. Most great movies have awesome music to go with them; something that captures key moments in the story, expands the feel of the whole experience, or even helps to define characters and scenes. So many authors (and fans!) have begun asking: Why not soundtracks for books?

CD Cover for the Playlist for the book Relativity CD Cover for the Playlist for the Book Eleanor and Park CD Book Cover for If I Stay Book Cover for Guitar Notes CD Book Cover for Amy and Roger's Epic Detour Image of Paper Towns by John Green

Note: Links open in a new window.

I think that is a great idea! What better way to enhance the story, add to character, bring a book to a whole new interactive level, or even be able to take a piece of the book and the characters it brought to life with you! I've found that when I am reading certain books I naturally listen to specific songs the whole way through - instinctively creating a kind of playlist as I read. It really sets the tone and immerses me in that world.

CD Cover for the Playlist for the Book RelativityRecently I read Relativity by Cristin Bishara which is a surprisingly realistic science fiction book about a girl who discovers a way to Book cover for Relativity by Cristin Basharaaccess multiple versions of her life and must choose which version she wants to be her own. It was fast paced, jumping from world to world, life to life, really giving you a lot to think about along the way. Bishara has created a playlist to go with the story, one I wished I had discovered before I read the book. Click the CD for a link to the author's website and the music playlist and click the book cover for a link to the book in the library catalog.

CD Cover for the Playlist for the Book Eleanor and Park Eleanor and Park (2014 Printz Honor Book) author Rainbow Rowell says that with every book she writes she makes a playlist to go withBook Cover for Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell them. She actually works on them at the same time she writes the story! She has created quite an extensive playlist, with links to songs, videos, and commentary for Eleanor and Park. Again this would have been awesome to read while listening to the music, as the music aspect is deeply embedded in the story, creating a beautiful dynamic between the two main characters. The mixed tapes that Park makes for Eleanor and that give her a glimmer of light in her life truly captures the ways music connects people. Click the CD for a link to the Eleanor and Park website and click the book cover for a link to the book in the library catalog.

CD Book Cover for If I StayMusic was also an integral part of the book If I Stay by Gayle Forman. It's a story about a girl who looks back on her life after a tragic Book Cover for If I Stay by Gayle Formanaccident and must decide if she wants to stay or move on. She is a gifted classical musician who's father is a former rock musician so music has been part of her childhood. She falls in love with a rock musician and their relationship is bound up in the their love for music and is key to their story as is the way that music ties her to her parents and family. The author, Gayle Forman, has put together a playlist of some of the songs from the book in the order that they appear in the story. Click the audiobook cover for links to the playlists, video trailers, and a talk about musical inspirations for the book and click the book cover for a link to the book in the library catalog.

YALSA LogoFor a list of books with playlists check out the Young Adult Library Services Association's (YALSA) wiki Books/Authors with Soundtracks/Playlists.

For links to the library catalog for these and other books with playlists or that have music as a central part of the story check out the links below.

Super Power Saturdays: Draw Me! Write Me! Creating Your Own Stories and Characters

Jennifer's picture

Welcome back everyone! This is the last post in the Super Power Saturdays blog series. We have covered a lot of different books this summer – super powers in fiction and graphic novels, unique teen powers in fiction, heroes in the real world in nonfiction, and more. If you missed any of these posts, or just want to re-read them, links to them are at the end of this blog post. Now, after reading all these great books, it’s time to take that super powered inspiration and channel it into creating our own stories. So, to wrap things up we will look at books that can help you create your own stories, characters, graphic novels, and even find out how to break into the writing and graphic art business! A few great ones to start with are:

Image for Bitstrips App WebsiteFor some online fun here are some apps and websites to help you start your own comics. Bitstrips is a free App that can turn you and your friends into comic characters. BUBBLR is an interactive site that lets you create comic strips using photos from flickr. Make Beliefs Comix, also an interactive site, has different online features and options, as well as printable downloads and writing prompts, to help you to create your own comics.  

For links to these and other great books about creating your own stories, characters, and graphic novels check out the Draw Me! Write Me! book list in our catalog. 

Blogs in this Super Power Saturdays blog series:

Booklists from this blog series:

Happy “Super Powered” Reading!

Teen Recommendation: Ask the Passengers

Astrid copes with her small town's gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she's sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Her mother doesn't want it, her father's never really there, her perfect sister's too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to. There's no one Astrid feels she can talk to about the profound questions that she's trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love – and asking the right questions – will affect the passengers' lives, and her own.

Reading for Me: How to Make Time for Reading During the School Year

Youth Department's picture

Back to school, back to friends, back to homework, back to tests.  There are are a lot of different responsibilities pulling you in different directions at the start of the school year, and they all seem equally important.  There isn’t even time to read a good book.

Wait, what?!

That’s not true!  While it may seem like there is hardly time to even breath while you are getting used to new classes, new teachers, and new material, there is still hope.

In fact, making time to read can help you stay relaxed and focused.  After a long day at school, you may just want to jump right into your homework, but sometimes you need a brain break.  A quick chapter of a good book could help you get that little break you need.  Reading can also help take your mind off all the school work you have to do before you pass out.  Have you ever done your math homework right before bed and then started dreaming about the pythagorean theorem?  For your sake, I hope not!

Collections of short stories, poems, or vignettes are a perfect pick for the school year; if you don’t have a chance to get back to the book for a couple of days, you won’t have to worry about remembering where you left off.  Here are some great books to help you get into the habit of making time to read for FUN!

–Submitted by Katie R. 

Battle of the Books

Sarah's picture

This year's Battle of the Books has begun!  Sixteen books for middle school and high school students (listed below) have been chosen by School Library Journal to go head-to-head in a tournament until one book is crowned the winner.  Last year's winner was The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin.

Each head-to-head match-up is judged by a different author.  This year's judges include CeceBell (author of El Deafo), Michael Buckley (author of the Sisters Grimm series), Tim Federle (author of Better Nate Than Ever), Ann M. Martin (author of the Baby-Sitters Club series), and 11 others.

Head on over to the School Library Journal blog to follow the competition, learn more about the books and judges, request a bracket, and more!

  1. The Boys Who Challenged Hitler
  2. Challenger Deep
  3. Drowned City
  4. Echo
  5. Gone Crazy in Alabama
  6. Goodbye Stranger
  7. The Hired Girl
  8. I Crawl Through It
  9. The Marvels
  10. Most Dangerous
  11. My Seneca Village
  12. The Nest
  13. Nimona
  14. Rhythm Ride
  15. Symphony for the City of the Dead
  16. X: A Novel

Horror for Teens: The Cemetery Boys

When Stephen moves to the small, midwestern town where his father grew up, he quickly falls in with punk girl Cara and her charismatic twin brother, Devon. The town has a dark secret, right out of an urban legend. The twins are caught in the middle of this secret, and Stephen must decide where his allegience lies.

Romance Novel: All the Bright Places

Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school–both teetering on the edge–it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the “natural wonders” of the state of Indiana, and two teens' desperate desire to heal and save one another. Grades 8-12.

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