Welcome to the second edition of the kidsActing Book Club! This time we are featuring fiction with a theatre storyline written for a teen audience. All books on this list are best sellers, and many are literary award winners.

 

Books written for teens may not be appropriate for all young readers. If there were a rating system for novels, many of these books would have a PG to a PG-13 rating for language and brief romantic situations.

 

All are available in a variety of formats including hard-bound, paperback, kindle, and audio books.

 

For more information on a book, click the image.

 

Enjoy!

TITLEAlex & Eliza: A Love Story

AUTHOR: Melissa de la Cruz

GENRE: Young Adult

PAGES: 336

MEDIA TYPE: Print (hardcover & paperback), e-book, audiobook

AWARDS

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Seventeen Magazine Best Young Adult Book (2017)

REVIEWS: 

  • “This charming historical romance is a must-read for any fan of Hamilton who felt drawn in, first and foremost, by the sweeping love story.”—Booklist

  • “de la Cruz has struck while the iron is hot and shone a light on the extraordinary wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, Eliza Schuyler. . . . Fans of the musical will be excited to see this novel.”—School Library Journal

  • Hamilton fans will love this fictionalized, and delightfully charming, novel.”—BuzzFeed 

1777. Albany, New York: As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival those of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, Eliza can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel, and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

TITLESimon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

AUTHOR: Becky Albertalli

GENRE: Young Adult, LGBT

PAGES: 303

MEDIA TYPE: Print (hardcover & paperback), e-book, audiobook

AWARDS

  • William C. Morris Award from the American Library Association (an annual honor for young adult literature).

  • National Book Award Longlist

  • Best Young Adult Novels (Wall Street Journal. 2015)

REVIEWS:

  • “Albertalli paints a stunningly three-dimensional, cliche-free world for Simon that bursts with unforgettable characters. Savor it, because you’ll read it for the first time only once. Worthy of Fault in Our Stars-level obsession.” (Entertainment Weekly)

  • “Debut novelist Albertalli writes believably in the voice of a confused, openhearted 16-year-old. Readers will fall madly in love with Simon.” (Publishers Weekly)

NOTE: The language and situations in this book are comparable to what one would find in a PG-13 film. Parental discretion is advised.

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: If he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing with, will be jeopardized.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated.

Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out-without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

 

(Now a major-release motion picture titled Love, Simon, which is currently playing in theaters nationwide.)

TITLEA Whole New League

AUTHOR: Maggie Dallen

GENRE: Young Adult

PAGES: 154

MEDIA TYPE: e-book

REVIEWS: 

  •                    (Amazon 5-Star Rating)

  • "This is a very good book.It teaches you about what some may have forgotten about being different in high school" - Amazon Customer Review

  • (This book was published on March 19, 2018. Editorial reviews were not yet available at the time this article was written.)

Veronica, a theatre student at Briarwood High Schoo, says:

 

The star quarterback dating a theater geek like me? As if anyone would believe that.

If Brian Kirkland is the reigning king of the jocks, I guess that makes me the queen of the drama department. Hard to believe we were ever best friends. These days we go to great lengths to ignore one another. But when Brian's current diva girlfriend convinces him to try out for my play, there's no way to avoid him.

 

I try to keep it professional, but years of anger and resentment are hard to dismiss. It doesn't help that he's just as cocky as I remember. He lives to antagonize me, which is why I'm just as stunned as everyone else when he does something nice. Something...unexpected. His very public kiss is an act of kindness to save me from humiliation, but it leads the entire school to think that we're dating. Which is just crazy...right?

NOTE: This book is part of a 3-part series of e-books about Briarwood High School and can be read in any order.

TITLE: Jack & Louisa (3 Book Series)

AUTHORS: Andrew Keenan Bolger & Kate Wetherhead

GENRE: Young Teens (ages 11-15)

PAGES: 240-256 pages

MEDIA TYPE: Print (hardcover & paperback), e-book

REVIEWS: 

  • "The friendship that develops between Jack & Lou isn't just about Musical Theater Nerds (or MTNs) but finding each other. This is a loving, funny and sweet book. Can't wait for the next one." - Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth

  • "Theater fans will eat this up." - Kirkus Reviews

  • (This book was published on March 19, 2018. Editorial reviews were not yet available at the time this article was written.)

Jack and Louisa is a show-stopping series about life in the spotlight from Broadway actors and internet sensations Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Tuck Everlasting, Newsies, Mary Poppins, Seussical) and Kate Wetherhead (Legally Blonde: the Musical, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).

In Act I, twelve-year-old Jack Goodrich was a Broadway star, with two shows under his belt and a third in rehearsals. But when his voice suddenly changes, Jack and his parents leave the spotlight and move far from New York City to Shaker Heights, Ohio.

While Jack hopes to leave his Broadway past behind, his new neighbor refuses to let him off the hook. Louisa is a self-proclaimed "musical theater nerd" and can hardly believe when an actor moves to town. What's more, the local theater has announced auditions for her favorite show, Into the Woods.

 

As the audition date looms nearer, the two are faced with difficult choices. Should Jack risk humiliation and return to the stage? Will Louisa have the confidence to go it alone? And can friendship survive all those complicated octave leaps?

 

Acts II and III continue their tenuous, yet close, relationship. The perfect story about young musical theatre nerds... written by two of Broadway's greatest musical theatre nerds!

TITLEBetter Nate Than Ever

AUTHOR: Tim Federle

GENRE: Young Teen (ages 11-14)

PAGES: 305

MEDIA TYPE: Print (hardcover & paperback), e-book, audiobook

AWARDS: New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year; Slate Favorite Book of the Year

REVIEWS: 

  • “The Nate series by Tim Federle is a wonderful evocation of what it’s like to be a theater kid. Highly recommended.” –Lin-Manuel Miranda, star and creator of the musical, Hamilton

  • "Critics are raving about Nate." - CNN

  • "The book I needed--and would have adored--when I was a kid. Federle writes from the heart and hits you in the gut--not to mention your funny bone." (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, star of Modern Family)

Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he’d settle for seeing a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There’s an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.

Tim Federle’s “hilarious and heartwarming debut novel” (Publishers Weekly) is full of broken curfews, second chances, and the adventure of growing up—because sometimes you have to get four hundred miles from your backyard to finally feel at home.

 

NOTE: This book is the first of a 3-part series: Better Nate Than Ever (Book One), Five, Six, Seven, Nate! (Book 2), and Nate Expectations (Book Three)

 

 

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