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Find more Top 10 Arts Books for Youth
This year’s top 10 books for youth about the arts introduce painters and dancers, potters and poets. The books on this list were reviewed in Booklist from November 1, 2013, to October 15, 2014.
A Dance like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream. By Kristy Dempsey. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. 2014. Philomel, $16.99 (9780399252846). K–Gr. 3.
An African American girl living in 1950s Harlem dreams that she, too, can become a dancer after she goes to see the first black prima ballerina perform.
Deer Dancer. By Mary Lyn Ray. Illus. by Lauren Stringer. 2014. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane, $17.99 (9781442434219). PreS–Gr. 2.
Words whirl in tandem with the retro artwork in a story that follows a girl into a forest, where she feels free to dance.
Draw! By Raúl Colón. Illus. by the author. 2014. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, $17.99 (9781442494930). PreS–K.
A boy in bed is not hampered by his asthma when he has a sketchbook nearby—he’s off to Africa to draw animals. A vibrant tribute to the imagination.
Everybody Paints: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family. By Susan Rubin Goldman. 2014. illus. Chronicle, $16.99 (9780811869843). Gr. 6–10.
Three generations of artists are engagingly introduced. Excellent reproductions of their artwork make this a visually appealing presentation.
Frida & Diego: Art, Love, Life. By Catherine Reef. 2014. illus. Clarion, $17.99 (9780547821849). Gr. 7–10.
Reef profiles the lives, accomplishments, and relationship of Kahlo and Rivera in this enlightening and engaging offering.
The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius. By Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. 2013. illus. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, $17.99 (9781596438101). Gr. 4–7.
Eccentric artist Ohr comes to life in this entertaining, handsomely illustrated biography from an award-winning writing team.
The Noisy Paintbox: The Color and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art. By Barb Rosenstock. Illus. by Mary GrandPré. 2014. Knopf, $17.99 (9780307978486). K–Gr. 2.
Richly colored acrylic paint-and-paper collages illustrate the life of Vasily Kadinsky, a first painter of abstract art, who as a boy, felt he could hear the colors he painted.
A Time to Dance. By Padma Venkatraman. 2014. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen, $17.99 (9780399257100). Gr. 7–12.
Veda expresses herself through dance. When tragedy strikes, she struggles to find her rhythm with her severely diminished physicality. Lyrically told through verse, this is beautifully uplifting.
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone. By Adele Griffin. 2014. illus. Soho Teen, $17.99 (9781616953607). Gr. 9–12.
Griffin attempts something unusual in this novel: a Rashomon-like take on a young girl’s life, highlighted by photos of the girl and her art, all in an attempt to put the unknowable Addison closer to the reader’s grasp.
The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy. By Kate Hattemer. 2014. Knopf, $16.99 (9780385753784). Gr. 6–11.
When a reality show about the arts films at their high school, a group of juniors rebels against what they see as the prostitution of their talent. An intriguing look at popular culture.
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