All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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Do you know a teen who'd rather crank the tunes than crack a book? Try tempting them with one of the music-themed titles below.

Born to Rock

Born to Rock

Age Level: 12-14

Conservative, slightly uptight Leo finally finds out who his biological father is — his name is Maggot and he's the lead singer of an old punk band that's headed back on the road. Leo joins them to earn money and get to know how on earth this man could be his father.

Becoming Billie Holiday

Becoming Billie Holiday

Age Level: 14-16

Through slightly fictionalized poetry, readers learn about a girl born in Baltimore who grows up to become jazz singer Billie Holiday. Her life is in not white-washed, there's sex and drugs along with the music, but ultimately the music shines through. Floyd Cooper's illustrations are gorgeous and perfectly suited.

Crooked Kind of Perfect

Crooked Kind of Perfect

Age Level: 9-12

This very different take on music features 11-year old Zoe, who dreams of being a concert pianist, until her Dad brings home an organ. Zoe learns to play and even enters a competition.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Age Level: 14-16

One night, in a noisy punk rock club, Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend, so that he can avoid his old girlfriend. Thus begins a night-long adventure that's part New York mini-road trip, part foul-mouthed romance. Though the movie adaptation was PG-13, the original novel is closer to R-rated for its frank language

Debbie Harry Sings in French

Debbie Harry Sings in French

Age Level: 14-16

At 16, Johnny is checking out of rehab and going to live with his uncle. Johnny loves old punk music and is obsessed with Debbie Harry. When he meets Maria, she helps him understand that this obsession might go even deeper, and she encourages him to get in touch with his feminine side, the one that might want to look like Debbie Harry.

Audrey Wait

Audrey Wait

Age Level: 14-16

High school junior Audrey has had it with her boyfriend Evan, who spends more time with his band than with her. So she dumps him. Within a day, he's written a song, "Audrey Wait," which rockets to the top of the charts and makes Audrey a target of Evan's fans. What is it like to have your whole life spelled out in a three-minute pop song?

Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion

Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion

Age Level: 16-18

This oversized book features posters made to advertise recent rock shows. Some bands are well known; others are really obscure. With great graphics and artist profiles, this book will appeal to music lovers and illustrators alike.

Heavy Metal and You

Heavy Metal and You

Age Level: 14-16

Sam is a metal-head. Sure, he bangs his head, drinks, and smokes, but none of that has ever kept him from getting great grades at his prep school. Then he starts dating Melissa. Real raw language and a fast pace make this a good choice for reluctant readers too.

Beige

Beige

Age Level: 14-16

Katy lives in Montreal with her Mom, an archeologist. When Mom leaves on a dig, Katy must stay in L.A. with her estranged father, an ex-addict and aging punk rock drummer in LA. Though, Katy is determined to stick to her "beige" personality, she and her Dad's edgy companions have a lot to learn from each other.

Just Listen

Just Listen

Age Level: 14-16

Annabel is a beautiful teen model, but she's over it. Her sister has become anorexic, and the family isn't dealing with it very well. When she forms a special connection with iPod-wearing Owen, Annabel learns some new ways to deal with her issues and learns a lot about herself at the same time.