Miguel and the Grand Harmony by Matt de la Peña; illustrated by Ana Ramírez

(Children Picture Book + DELAP)

“La Música exists in many places —in the twang of a guitar, in the beat of a drum, even in the whistling wind and the morning bird’s son. She brings color and life wherever she goes, connecting people to a grand harmony. And in the town of Santa Cecilia, she is everywhere. When La Música discovers a boy with longing in his heart and no music in his home, she vows to help him find his passion.” —Provided by publisher

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle; illustrations by Rafael López

(Children Picture Book + ENGLE)

Follows a girl in the 1920s as she strives to become a drummer, despite being continually reminded that only boys play the drums, and that there has never been a female drummer in Cuba. Includes note about Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who inspired the story, and Anacaona, the all-girl dance band she formed with her sisters.

Gabriella’s Song by Candace Fleming; illustrated by Giselle Potter

(Children Picture Book FLEMI)

A young girl finds music all around her as she walks about the city of Venice, Italy, and she shares her song with everyone she meets.

Imani’s Music by Sheron Williams; illustrated by Jude Daly

(Children PZ7.W668175 Im 2000)

Imani, an African grasshopper, brings music to the new world when he travels aboard a slave ship.

Mr. Frog Went A-Courting written and illustrated by Gary Chalk

(Children + PZ8.3.C355 Mr 1994)

Illustrations and supplementary text elaborate on the story of the wedding of a frog and a mouse in a traditional folk song.

This Land Is Your Land words and music by Woody Guthrie; paintings by Kathy Jakobsen

(Children PZ8.3.G9635 Th 1998)

This well-known folk song is accompanied by a tribute from folksinger Pete Seeger, the musical notation, and a biographical scrapbook with photographs.

Beginning Readers

Mr. Putter & Tabby Toot the Horn by Cynthia Rylant ; illustrated by Arthur Howard

(Children Picture Book RYLAN)

Mr. Putter’s neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, decides that they should join a band, but finding the right one isn’t as easy as it sounds —for them or their pets.

Dance! Dance! Underpants! By Bob Shea

(Children Picture Book SHEA)

Ballet Cat and her friend Butter Bear have practiced a dance to perform for an audience, but Butter Bear will need a lot of encouragement to try the super high leaps.

Chapter Books

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

(Children PZ7 .P42 Fi 2017)

Twelve-year-old María Luisa O’Neill-Morales (who really prefers to be called Malú) reluctantly moves with her Mexican-American mother to Chicago and starts seventh grade with a bang —violating the dress code with her punk rock aesthetic and spurning the middle school’s most popular girl in favor of starting a band with a group of like-minded weirdos.

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

(Children PZ7.R9553 Ec 2015)

Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, as the second World War approaches, the lives of three children —Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California —become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. Pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their solo stories converge.

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia; illustrations by Frank Morrison

(Children PZ7.W6714 Cl 2017)

Clayton feels most alive when he’s with his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, and the band of Bluesmen —he can’t wait to join them, just as soon as he has a blues song of his own. But then the unthinkable happens. Cool Papa Byrd dies, and Clayton’s mother forbids Clayton from playing the blues. And Clayton knows that’s no way to live. Armed with his grandfather’s brown porkpie hat and his harmonica, he runs away from home in search of the Bluesmen, hoping he can join them on the road. But on the journey that takes him through the New York City subways and to Washington Square Park, Clayton learns some things that surprise him.

Young Adult

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

(Young Adult PZ7.A334 Le 2018)

Leah Burke is an anomaly in her friend group: the only child of a young, single mom; her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends —not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. When her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways, it’s hard for Leah to strike the right note. And with prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. If only real life was as rhythmic as her drumming…

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

(Young Adult PZ7.G8233 Wi 2010)

When two teens, one gay and one straight, meet accidentally and discover that they share the same name, their lives become intertwined as one begins dating the other’s best friend, who produces a play revealing his relationship with them both.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

(Young Adult PZ7.H2645 Se 2012)

In a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.

Informational Books

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Brian Pinkney

(Children + CT275.E42 P56 1998)

A brief recounting of the career of this jazz musician and composer who, along with his orchestra, created music that was beyond category.

Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa by Andrea Davis Pinkney with Scat Cat Monroe; illustrated by Brian Pinkney

(Children + CT275.F5662 P56 2002)

A brief recounting of the career of this jazz musician in the voice of “Scat Cat Monroe.”

Harlem Hellfighters by J. Patrick Lewis & Gary Kelley

(Children Lg D570.33 369th .L49 2014)

“A regiment of African American soldiers from Harlem journeys across the Atlantic to fight alongside the French in World War I, inspiring a continent with their brand of jazz music.” —Provided by publisher.

Harlem Stomp!: A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance by Laban Carrick Hill

(Children + E185.6 .H515 2003)

A whirlwind tour of the Harlem Renaissance era of the early 20th century.


I, Too, Sing America: Three Centuries of African American Poetry s elected and annotated by Catherine Clinton; illustrated by Stephen Alcorn

(Children + PS591.N4 I35 1998)

A collection of poems by African-American writers, including Lucy Terry, Gwendolyn Bennett, and Alice Walker.

Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill; illustrated by Francis Vallejo

(Children + PS3615.R45 J39 2016)

“When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn’t own a good camera, didn’t know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians’ mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer’s day. Francis Vallejo’s vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era.” —Provided by publisher