Girls Rock and Read!

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Girls Rock and Read!

Picks for music-loving teens

Every year, DC Public Library staff give the campers over at Girls Rock! DC camp a book list to rock out to. Here are a few of our top picks of Young Adult fiction that features music as a main character or theme... for the young music lover in your life, or just for you!  

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell  
This is a doozie of a book. Grab some tissues and cancel all further appointments. A heartache of a first-love story, set to the sounds of Skinny Puppy, Jonathan Richman, Joy Division and more. The retro music references abound, to the delight of the adult YA fiction readers - listen here.

Debbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers 
Meet Johnny - he is obsessed with Blondie! But what is he supposed to do when he realizes he doesn't just like Debbie Harry's music....he might want to be her? This complex story touches on issues of alcoholism, death, family trauma, sexuality and gender identity.


Spin It Like That by Chandra Sparks Taylor 
This is a title from the Kimani TRU paperback series and is a great recommendation for reluctant readers who are into music! Jasmine is a DJ and can't imagine life without music, much to the disapproval of her strict parents, who would rather she focus on academics. She gets swept up in her success after winning a local contest and starts to have a hard time figuring out who has her back and who doesn't. 


Girl by Blake Nelson 
Welcome to the indie-rock underground of Portland, Ore., and to the world of high school junior Andrea Marr. This book has it all: strip malls, vintage clothes, and bands with cringe-worthy names. Be warned that the book also has some pretty adult themes (sex, drugs, rock and roll, etc.)


When the Black Girl Sings by Bil Wright 
Lahni often feels like an outcast. She is the only black student at her ritzy prep school, and her adoptive (white) parents are splitting up. Lonely and struggling to navigate her identity, Lahni attends church with her mom. Sitting in the pew, she hears Gospel music for the first time. Could singing Gospel help her feel like she belongs?


The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz 
Spend a summer in Berkeley, Calif., with 16-year-old Allie, a record store junkie with a popular blog and zine.