Read to the Rhythm

With International Music Day celebrated on October 1 and World Ballet Day on October 2 this year, this month is the perfect time to celebrate the infinite melodies that fill and shape our world. Everyone loves a good beat, and whether you play, sing, or dance to a song, there is always time for music – even in books! Check out the list below to read about how people throughout the world rejoice in the wonder and power of music.

To find more books about grooving to the rhythm, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “music,” “musician,” “dance,” or a specific type of music, instrument, dance, or person you are interested in. Many nonfiction books about music and dancing can be found in the 780 and 790 call number range.

Andrews, Troy.
Trombone Shorty. 2015 (Biography: Picture Book)
In this picture book autobiography, Troy Andrews shares with readers how he became known as “Trombone Shorty” after learning to play the instrument as a very young boy. Growing up in New Orleans, music was everywhere, and it wasn’t long until Andrews was leading his own band and sharing music of his own. This fun and colorful book is a testament to how you can do anything you put your mind to!
[S-Collection Q. SB. A571an]

Blackaby, Susan & Cicciarelli, Joellyn.
Leo’s Gift. 2017 (Fiction: Picture Book)
Leo doesn’t have that thing that is his thing yet, but he is captivated by the way his sister can play songs just by hitting the piano keys in the right order. But while she would rather play basketball, Leo spends all his time learning to coax music out of the instrument with the help of an invested music teacher. Could this be his gift? Beautifully written with warm illustrations, readers will love to see Leo discover and embrace the way he can bring joy to the world.
[S-Collection Q. SE. B561l]

Bowen, Meurig.
The School of Music. 2017 (Nonfiction)
In this fun, informational, and immersive book, children will explore the basics of music along with a cast of lively musicians that include Sergio Trunk, Diva Venus, Rufus Vibrato, Roxy Mojo, and more. From exploring the different instruments to learning the basics of how music works and making music at home, readers will not want to leave this school! This large-format book is full of engaging pictures, activities, and questions that will make learning as easy as do re mi.
[S-Collection Q. S. 780.9 B6757s]

Copeland, Misty.
Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. 2016 (Biography: Chapter Book)
With a late start to ballet and family drama that relocated her to various homes and schools, Misty Copeland defied all odds by becoming the first female African-American principal ballerina in the American Ballet Theatre’s history. In this autobiography, Copeland discusses her challenging journey to becoming one of America’s most successful ballerinas. She never gave up on her dreams and has inspired many other dancers to give it their all.
[S-Collection SB. C7826c]

Engle, Margarita.
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music. 2015 (Fiction: Picture Book – Based on a true story)
Surrounded by music on the island of Cuba, a young girl dreams of being a drummer despite tradition saying that only boys play the drums. Still, she dreams and practices in secret and perseveres until she is able to share her music with everyone. This beautifully illustrated story was inspired by Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, the real-life drum dream girl, and will encourage children to speak out and share their talents.
[S-Collection SE. En35d]

Katz, Nikki.
The Midnight Dance. 2017 (Fiction: Young Adult)
It’s 1879, and Penny is a lead dancer under the Maestro at the Grande Teatro, an elite finishing school secluded in the woods of Italy. However, memories of a very different life start coming back to her and she soon begins to question who she is and what the Maestro is really doing. Penny confides in Cricket, the kitchen boy, and resolves to escape the stifling school and oppressive master before it’s too late.
[S-Collection S. K1595m]

Redgate, Riley.
Noteworthy. 2017 (Fiction: Young Adult)
Jordan Sun is really hoping that junior year will be the year she makes the school musical, but her unusual Alto 2 voice is not an asset in this case. However, a spot in the all-male, a cappella octet called the Sharpshooters has opened up, and Jordan auditions as a boy, hoping that her low voice will help her earn a spot and prove her skills. Once she makes it, she is soon caught between her two identities, where she struggles to make friends and has to decide what it means to be herself.
[S-Collection S. R2478n]

Singer, Marilyn.
Feel the Beat: Dance Poems That Zing from Salsa to Swing. 2017 (Poetry)
Rhythmic and spirited, these poems celebrate the energy and impact of dance! The beat of each poem matches the rhythm of the dance it focuses on and vibrant illustrations add to the experience. A CD is included where the author reads the poems set to matching music, and readers will love learning about all the ways that dance has the power to move people across the world.
[S-Collection Q. S.811 Si64fe]

Singer, Marilyn.
Tallulah’s Tap Shoes. 2015 (Fiction: Picture Book)
Tallulah is a ballet dancer. She loves the beauty and perfection of it, but at dance camp she’ll have to take tap too. Tallulah is NOT excited, and to make it worse, there’s a girl at camp who is a really good tap dancer. Could they have anything in common? In this installment of Tallulah’s dance adventures, readers are sure to empathize with her struggles and rejoice in her discoveries.
[S-Collection Q. SE. Si643tta]

Torres, Jennifer.
Finding the Music: En pos de la música. 2015 (Fiction: Bilingual Picture Book)
This side-by-side bilingual book with Spanish and English text is a beautifully written family story about the power of music to bring people together. In the beginning, Reyna accidentally knocks her grandfather’s vihuela (a guitar-like instrument) off the wall of her mother’s restaurant because customers are being loud while she is trying to read. She goes on a quest to get it fixed before her mom finds out and her journey leads her to appreciate the noise and music of her grandfather’s past as well as her heritage.
[S-Collection S. T6364f]