Monday, March 24, 2014

Gowns, Greasepaint, and Guitar ~ Not the same old song and dance.

Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

'Gowns, Greasepaint, and Guitars' puts the spotlight on wildly popular performing arts stories.

Anthony, JessicaChopsticks. Illus. Rodrigo Corral.  Razorbill. 2012.
After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows worldwide. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. In flashbacks to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. But nothing is as it seems.This stunningly moving novel is told in photos, pictures and words.

Calame, Don.  Beat the Band.  Candlewick.  2011.
Get ready for riffs on hot girls, health class, and social hell! The outrageously funny boys from Swim the Fly return to rock their sophomore year. In this hilarious sequel to Swim the Fly, told from Coop's point of view, it's the beginning of the school year, and the tenth-grade health class must work in pairs on semester-long projects. Matt and Sean get partnered up (the jerks), but Coop is matched with the infamous "Hot Dog" Helen for a presentation on safe sex. Everybody's laughing, except for Coop, who's convinced that the only way to escape this social death sentence is to win "The Battle of the Bands" with their group, Arnold Murphy's Bologna Dare. There's just one problem: none of the guys actually plays an instrument. Will Coop regain his "cool" before it's too late? Or will the forced one-on-one time with Helen teach him a lesson about social status he never saw coming? With ribald humor and a few sweet notes, screenwriter-turned-novelist Don Calame once again hits all the right chords .

Dionne, Erin.  The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet. Puffin.  2010.
Hamlet Kennedy just wants to be your average, happy, vanilla eighth grader. But with Shakespearean scholar parents who dress in Elizabethan regalia and generally go about in public as if it were the sixteenth century, that's not terribly easy. It gets worse when they decide that Hamlet's genius seven year-old sister will attend middle school with her-- and even worse when the Shakespeare project is announced and her sister is named the new math tutor. By the time an in-class recitation reveals that our heroine is an extraordinary Shakespearean actress, Hamlet can no longer hide from the fact that she--like her family--is anything but average. In a novel every bit as funny as her debut, Erin Dionne has created another eighth grader whose situation is utterly unique--but whose foibles and farces will resound with every girl currently suffering through middle school.
   
Donnelly, Jennifer Revolution.  Ember.  2010.
From the privileged streets of modern Brooklyn to the heart of the French Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light , artfully weaves two girls' stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart. BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She's angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she's about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights' most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break. nbsp; PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn't want--and couldn't escape. nbsp; Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine's diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There's comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal's antique pages--until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine's words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.
  
Flack, Sophie.  Bunheads.  Poppy.  2012.
On-stage beauty. Backstage drama. As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet. But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?

Forman, GayleWhere She Went.  Penguin.  2012.
It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other. Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay , Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Green, John and David Levithan.   Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  Speak. 2011.
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens#151;both named Will Grayson#151;are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history's most fabulous high school musical. Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan's collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have wonnbsp;them bothnbsp;legions of faithful fans.

Haston, Meg How to Rock Braces and Glasses.  Poppy.  2012.
Super-stylish and uber-harsh, Kacey Simon is the social dictator of Marquette Middle School. She's BFFs with the prettiest girls, and she even hosts her own TV segment dispensing advice and the cold, hard truth to her classmates -- whether they want to hear it or not. But then an eye-infection and a visit to the dentist leave her with coke-bottle glasses, a mouth full of metal, and... a littthp . Dismissed by her popular friends, she falls so far down the social ladder she can barely see the top, even with her magnifying specs. With nowhere else to turn, Kacey has to hang with her nerdy neighbor and a boy who walks to beat of his own drum -- or rather, to the beat of the drummer in his band. Zander wants Kacey to be their lead singer, but she's determined to reclaim her throne. Will she climb back to the top? Or will she discover that hitting rock bottom kind of... rocks?

John, AntonyFive Flavors of Dumb.   Speak.  2011.
Winner of the Schneider Book Award The award-winning author of the Elemental series delivers a rock-and-roll novel that Lauren Myracle called "raw, fresh, funny, and authentic." The Challenge: Eighteen-year-old Piper has one month to get her high school's coolest 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 a band made up of an egomaniacal pretty boy, a talentless piece of eye candy, a silent rocker, an angry girl, and a crush-worthy nerd boy? And how can she do it when she's deaf? Piper is determined to show her classmates that just because she's hearing impaired doesn't mean she's invisible. With growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of her parent's decision 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. For fans of K. L. Going's Fat Kid Rules the World and Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Dairy Queen .

Rennison, Louise.  Withering Tights.  HarperTeen. 2012.
Wow. This is it. This is me growing up. On my own, going to Performing Arts College. This is good-bye, Tallulah, you long, gangly thing, and hellooooo, Lullah, star of stage. Tallulah Casey is ready to find her inner artist. And some new mates. And maybe a boy or two or three. The ticket to achieving these lofty goals? Enrolling in a summer performing arts program, of course. She's bound for the wilds of Yorkshire Dales--eerily similar to the windswept moors of Wuthering Heights. Tallulah expects new friends, less parental interference, and lots of drama. Acting? Tights? Moors? Check, check, check. What she doesn't expect is feeling like a tiny bat's barging around in her mouth when she has her first snog. Bestselling author Louise Rennison returns with her trademark wit, a hilarious new cast, and a brand-new cheeky heroine who is poised to discover plenty of opportunities for (mis)adventure!

Shulman, Polly.  Enthusiasm. Speak.  2007. 
A first-time novelist pens a Jane Austen-inspired romantic comedy of errors as two girls get a part in the boys' school musical. What follows is a series of misinterpreted--and missed--signals, dating mishaps, and awkward incidents. This edition includes a discussion guide.

*Skovron, JonStruts and FretsAmulet.  2011. 
Told in a voice that's honest, urgent, and hilarious, Struts & Frets will resonate not only with teenage musicians but with anyone who ever sat up all night listening to a favorite album, wondering if they'd ever find their place in the world. nbsp; Music is in Sammy's blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammy's indie rock band could be huge one day#151;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. nbsp; When everything in Sammy's life seems to be headed for major catastrophe, will his music be enough to keep him together?

Sonnenblick, Jordan Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie  Scholastic.  2006. .
Steven Alper is a typical eighth-grader--smarter than some, a better drummer than most, but with the usual girl problems and family trials. Then, on October 7, his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey, falls, has a nosebleed that doesn't stop, and is diagnosed with leukemia. All hell breaks loose. Mrs. Alper's days and nights revolve around getting Jeffrey to his chemotherapy treatments, and Mr. Alper retreats into a shell, coming out only occasionally to weep over the mounting medical bills. Steven becomes the forgotten son, who throws himself into drumming, even as he quits doing his homework and tries to keep his friends from finding out about Jeffrey's illness. A story that could have morphed into melodrama is saved by reality, rawness, and the wit Sonnenblick infuses into Steven's first-person voice. The recriminations, cares, and nightmares that come with a cancer diagnosis are all here, underscored by vomiting, white blood cell counts, and chemotherapy ports. Yet, this is also about regrouping, solidarity, love, and hope. Most important for a middle-grade audience, Sonneblick shows that even in the midst of tragedy, life goes on, love can flower, and the one thing you can always change is yourself. --Ilene Cooper

*Telgemeier, Raina Drama.  Illus. Raina Telgemeier. Scholastic/ GRAPHIX.  2012. 
Raina Telgemeier, the author of the award-winning SMILE, brings us her next full-color graphic novel . . . DRAMA! Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she's a terrible singer. Instead she's the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen, and when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! Following the success of SMILE, Raina Telgemeier brings us another graphic novel featuring a diverse set of characters that humorously explores friendship, crushes, and all-around drama!