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‘Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.’ – Groucho Marx

Book Recommendations for Music Lovers

Guest post: Book Boy

I like to write and play my own songs and I like to read books, so I went looking for some books that combine the two things. Here are four that I discovered:


The Other Side of Summer by Emily Gale

Cover of the book The other side of summer

Thirteen-year-old Summer is trying to get over a tragedy, but it seems impossible. When her dad decides to move them all to Australia, she is horrified. But an unlikely friendship, and a special connection with a guitar she is told to ‘keep safe’, helps her through.

The musical element: Summer loves her guitar (an Ibanez Atwood) and there’s even a song written for especially for the book – you can hear it at theothersideofsummer.com.


Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Cover of Eleanor & Park

Set in the 1980s, this is the story of Eleanor, the new kid who couldn’t stand out more if she tried, and Park, the kid who thinks he’s made himself invisible. They meet on the school bus one day, and slowly, through comic books and mix tapes, start to fall in love.

The musical element: The mix tapes are full of 1980s songs, most of which you can look up on YouTube if you’re not familiar with them.


You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn

Cover of You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About

This is another love story (a lot of the music ones seem to be love stories!). I liked the fact that Tim, one of the main characters, writes his own songs. He’s a young singer-songwriter, hoping to make a living from music, and this story is about his first love.

The musical element: Tim writes his own songs and Mandy is obsessed with music. There’s a recommended listening list in the back of the book, so you can hear the kind of music that inspired Tim’s songs.


KidGlovz by Julie Hunt (Illustrated by Dale Newman)

I really enjoyed this graphic novel for tweens. The beautiful, black-and-white illustrations add to the fable-like feel of the story, which is all about KidGlovz – a musical prodigy with a gift so precious he is kept under lock and key by his manager (who is also his uncle). When a thief helps him to escape, Kid must go on a dangerous journey, through which he will discover the terrifying nature of his talent.

 The musical element: KidGlovz is a piano prodigy, and the black-and-white illustrations reminded me of a keyboard.


Book Boy

I’m a 14-year-old boy from the south coast of NSW. My favourite books include ’The Hate U Give’, ’Jasper Jones’, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ and ‘The Lord Of The Rings’. My book reviews have appeared in The Sunday Telegraph, and on sites like Children’s Books Daily and Creative Kids Tales. I read a lot, and I only review books I like. I am currently the only teen member of the #LoveOzYA committee, and a singer-songwriter who performs regularly in my local area and in Sydney.


1 comment

julianne Centre for Youth Literature

Great post! I love music in books too. Perhaps you could post some playlists for books too - songs that suit certain chapters or capture the mood of a book?

6th Feb, 19