Tween

Bravo! 11 Terrific Books for Tweens Who Love Musical Theater

by Dena McMurdie

My 9-year-old daughter loves musical theater. She was completely enraptured by our high school’s production of “High School Musical” and sang the songs for days afterward. I could practically see the dreams of stardom shining in her eyes.

As a girl that loves to sing and dance, it’s no shock that she can’t get enough of the theater. But since we can’t spend every day watching musicals, we turn to books to help fill her hunger. Here are 11 books for kids who love musical theater.

  • Jack & Louisa Series

    by Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead

    When ex-Broadway star Jack moves in next door, Louisa is over the moon with excitement. Written by two Broadway veterans, this series is about growing up, friendship, and staying true to yourself.

  • Babymouse #10: The Musical

    by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

    Fans of Babymouse and musical theater can rejoice as the two collide in this adorable and funny graphic novel. In her typical goofy fashion, Babymouse will steal your heart while she sings out her own.

  • Jake the Fake Keeps it Real

    by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach, illustrated by Keith Knight

    Jake wins a spot in a prestigious art school by performing the only song he knows on the piano. Now, he must prove his artistic abilities or risk getting exposed as a fake.

  • Better Nate Than Ever

    by Tim Federle

    With the help of his best friend, Nate goes to New York City to audition for a Broadway play. This charming story of a boy chasing his dreams also tackles bigger issues like independence and sexuality.

  • Short

    by Holly Goldberg Sloan

    Julia is very short for her age. When she gets cast as a Munchkin in a summer production of "The Wizard of Oz," and begins to connect with the show’s director and fellow cast members, she starts to come into her own, growing in all the ways that count. A humorous and sweet story with a charming lead character.

  • Summerlost

    by Ally Condie

    Cedar and her friend Leo get jobs working at the Summerlost theater festival. Between work, a mystery, and a blossoming friendship, Cedar learns to deal with a recent tragedy in this heartfelt and emotional story.

  • Theater Shoes

    by Noel Streatfeild

    Set against a WWII backdrop, this novel follows three orphans to London where their once-famous grandmother enrolls them in a performing arts academy. Young musical theater fans have enjoyed this classic for generations.

  • Drama

    by Raina Telgemeier

    A love of theater, a lack of talent, and two crush-worthy brothers make this vibrant graphic novel a feast for young readers. Callie becomes the set designer for her school's drama department and deals with all the challenges that come with the job.

  • Replay

    by Sharon Creech

    As the middle child of a large Italian family, Leo often feels lost in the shuffle. It's only through participating in a school play that Leo begins to discover who he is and how he fits into his loud, noisy family.

  • How to Stage a Catastrophe

    by Rebecca Donnelly

    With their community theater in danger of closing, Sidney and his friends come up with a wild plan to save it. Funny, lighthearted, and touching, this memorable novel is perfect for young theater fans.

  • Matilda

    by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake

    The popular musical is based on the classic Roald Dahl story of a telekinetic young girl. Read the book, see the show, and your child will practically float with happiness.

What other books would you recommend to young theater fans?

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