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May 15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Arts Books for Youth
Street art, folk art, fine art, opera, jazz, musical theater—this year’s top 10 arts books for youth, reviewed in Booklist between November 1, 2014, and October 15, 2015, demonstrate how rich and varied the arts can be.
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras. By Duncan Tonatiuh. Illus. by the author. 2015. Abrams, $18.95 (9781419716478). Gr. 3–5.
Packed with vibrant multimedia collage, this exceptional picture book profiles Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada, who created iconic Día de los Muertos skeletons.
The Game of Love and Death. By Martha Brockenbrough. 2015. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $17.99 (9780545668347). Gr. 9–12.
Flora, who’s black, and Henry, who’s white, fall in love while playing jazz in Depression-era Seattle. That’s trouble enough, but they’re also unwitting players in a deadly wager between Love and Death.
Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story. By David Levithan. 2015. Dutton, $17.99 (9780525428848). Gr. 9–12.
Tiny Cooper, of Levithan and John Green’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson (2010), claims center stage in this title, presented as a two-act script for his autobiographical musical.
I’ll Give You the Sun. By Jandy Nelson. 2014. Dial, $17.99 (9780803734968). Gr. 9–12.
In vivid, painterly prose, Nelson tells the intertwining stories of twins Noah and Jude, whose simmering jealousies come to a head when their mother encourages them both to apply to a prestigious art school.
Jake Makes a World: Jacob Lawrence, a Young Artist in Harlem. By Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts. Illus. by Christopher Myers. 2015. Museum of Modern Art, $18.95 (9780870709654). Gr. 2–4.
In this vivid glimpse into the early life of African American painter Jacob Lawrence, the rhythms, shapes, and Matisse-like colors of Harlem in the 1930s make for a sumptuous setting.
Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century. By Carole Boston Weatherford. Illus. by Raul Colón. 2014. Knopf, $17.99 (9780375856068). K–Gr. 3.
Leontyne Price, a black girl born in 1927, had an impossible dream: to become an opera singer. Colón’s gently dappled artwork is the perfect accompaniment.
Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip through the Motown Sound. By Andrea Davis Pinkney. 2015. illus. Roaring Brook, $19.99 (9781596439733). Gr. 5–8.
Cleverly narrated by the voice of the Groove, Pinkney’s journey through Motown reveals the behind-the-scenes players and actions that helped build an iconic sound.
The Seventh Most Important Thing. By Shelley Pearsall. 2015. Knopf, $16.99 (9780553497281). Gr. 5–8.
When Arthur hurls a brick at the trash picker, James Hampton, he’s sentenced to community service with the man. Little does he know that the types of junk he collects for Hampton are destined for an amazing piece of folk art.
Shadowshaper. By Daniel José Older. 2015. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $17.99 (9780545591614). Gr. 8–11.
Muralist Sierra is dazzled when she’s ushered into a community of artists who animate their work with spirits. But when a greedy anthropologist tries to appropriate their powers, Sierra fights back to protect her heritage.
Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad. By M. T. Anderson. 2015. illus. Candlewick, $25.99 (9780763668181). Gr. 9–12.
Dmitri Shostakovich defiantly wrote moving, galvanizing music while under siege in Leningrad, and Anderson grippingly traces not only the life of the daring composer but also the turbulent era of dizzying changes in the USSR.
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