If you like music and you like middle-grade books, what should you do? Well, the following five books would be a good place to start:
Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace by Nan Marino
Eleven-year-old Elvis Ruby was a musical prodigy expected to be crowned the next winner of Tween Star. Then he froze on national TV. Now, he’s in hiding.
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
Ten-year-old Zoe Elias dreams of having a baby grand piano and playing in Carnegie Hall. What she gets is a Perfectone D-60 that comes with free organ lessons and a golden oldies songbook.
The Reinvention of Moxie Roosevelt by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Thirteen-year-old Moxie Roosevelt Kipper is tired of being ordinary, and she views her arrival at boarding school as the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself, trying to hide her piano-playing talent in the process.
The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon
When a fifth grader has his own band called Dog Zombies, you know you’re in for some laughs. (A great book for Diary of a Wimpy Kid lovers.)
Guitar Notes by Mary Amato
Okay. I confess. This book falls into the YA category. But I liked it too much not to include it. Straight-A classical cellist has to share a school music room with trouble-making guitarist. Told through a blend of narrative, notes, songs, and texts.
Have you read a good middle-grade with a harmonica-playing grandpa or a trumpet-toting 10-year-old? A young girl with the voice of an angel? Some other connection to the world of music? Feel free to post the title of a music-based middle-grade that fits with this list!
Along with his MUF posts, T. P. Jagger can be found at www.tpjagger.com, where he provides brief how-to writing-tip videos as The 3-Minute Writing Teacher plus original readers’ theatre scripts for middle-grade teachers. He also has a 10-lesson, video-based creative writing course available at Curious.com.
Thank you so much for including my book in this discussion. I love this blog and how it celebrates middle grade books. Rosanne, I’m putting your book Second Fiddle on my to read list.
I’m a big fan of Virginia Euwer Wolff’s Mozart Season and since Virginia is a friend I’ve had the pleasure of hearing her play a number of times. She is an accomplished chamber player herself. And she was very helpful when I was researching my own MG music book Second Fiddle, which is about 3 girl musicians who have a grand adventure in Berlin and Paris.
A book that comes to mind for me is THE MOZART SEASON, by Virginia Euwer Wolff. I’m not a huge classical music fan, but this book made me appreciate it more. It’s a slower, more contemplative story about a 12 year old violinist preparing for a competition. Probably best for upper MG readers. I put the books on your list on my to-read list– thanks!
I thought of another book I could have included on this list. An oldie but goodie: YANG THE YOUNGEST AND HIS TERRIBLE EAR by Lensey Namioka.
<3 Nan! I totally still have to read this one. Off to flip through the first chapter now… 🙂 Thanks so much for the reminder.
I Heart Band by Michelle Schusterman and Genevieve Kote is a very good MG music book.