This booklist was compiled by Stephanie A. Squicciarini (Teen/Young Adult Services Librarian at Fairport Public Library) with the assistance of members of YALSA-BK, an electronic discussion list dedicated to discussing books for teens.
February 2005; Updated October 2008


Firmament, Tim Bowler

While struggling to cope with the death of his father, a gifted musician, fourteen-year-old Luke must deal with a dangerous bully, a lonely old woman, a blind young girl, his mother’s romantic involvement, and his own musical talent.

Candy, Kevin Brooks
After falling deeply in love with a desperate, drug-taking girl named Candy, Joe’s life begins to fall apart as Candy’s mind games make an impact, yet Joe is unwilling to see his dreams of music die and so must find a way to get control back for himself while saving Candy from her self-destructive ways in the process.

Beige, Cecil Castellucci

Katy, a quiet French Canadian teenager, reluctantly leaves Montréal to spend time with her estranged father, an aging Los Angeles punk rock legend.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
High school student Nick O’Leary, member of a rock band, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg and asks her to be his girlfriend for five minutes in order to avoid his ex-sweetheart.

Pop Princess, Rachel Cohn
Yearning to escape the small Massachusetts town where her family retreated after her sister’s death, Wonder Blake gets her chance when her sister’s manager offers Wonder a record contract on her sixteenth birthday.

Pepperland, Mark Delaney
Struggling to come to terms with the death of her mother in the late 1970s, sixteen-year-old Beatles fan Star Cochran hopes to find closure by delivering to John Lennon a letter her mother wrote to him in 1964 but never sent.

LBD: It’s a Girl Thing, Grace Dent
Barred by their overprotective parents from attending a rock music festival, fourteen-year-olds Ronnie, Fleur, and Claude, also known as “Les Bambinos Dangereuses,” decide to stage their own music festival at Blackwell School.

Just Listen, Sarah Dessen
Isolated from friends who believe the worst because she has not been truthful with them, sixteen-year-old Annabel finds an ally in classmate Owen, whose honesty and passion for music help her to face and share what really happened at the end-of-the-year party that changed her life.

This Lullaby, Sarah Dessen
Raised by a mother who’s had five husbands,  eighteen-year-old Remy believes in short-term, no-commitment relationships until she meets Dexter, a rock band musician.

Diva, Alex Flinn
Despite her mother’s objections, sixteen-year-old Caitlin determines to pursue her dream of becoming an opera singer by attending a performing arts school in Miami.

Fat Kid Rules the World, K.L. Going
Seventeen-year-old Troy, depressed, suicidal, and weighing nearly 300 pounds, gets a new perspective on life when a homeless teenager who is a genius on guitar wants Troy to be the drummer in his rock band.

Princess of Pop, Cathy Hopkins
Becca missed the fun of the school production of Grease, and she has a reputation for being fickle and a dreamer.  But the Pop Princess challenge makes her determined to try harder than she has ever tried before.  She has the voice, but has she got the staying power?

Lemonade Mouth, Mark Hughes
A disparate group of high school students thrown together in detention form a band to play at a school talent show and end up competing with a wildly popular local rock band.

Mountain Solo, Jeanette Ingold
Back at her childhood home in Missoula, Montana, after a disastrous concert in Germany, a teenage violin prodigy contemplates giving up life with her mother in New York City and her music as she, her father, stepmother, and stepsister hike to a pioneer home site where another violinist once faced difficult decisions of his own.

Born to Rock, Gordon Korman
High school senior Leo Caraway, a conservative Republican, learns that his biological father is a punk rock legend.

Heavy Metal and You, Christopher Krovatin
High schooler Sam begins losing himself when he falls for a preppy girl who wants him to give up getting wasted with his best friends and even his passion for heavy metal music in order to become a better person.

Orpheus Obsession, Dakota Lane
Sixteen-year-old Anooshka Star, who has a tumultuous relationship with her mother, becomes obsessed with a rock singer and follows him into his world, and an unexpected death magnifies her troubles.

Guitar Girl, Sarra Manning
Seventeen-year-old Molly Montgomery never planned on becoming famous. Starting a band with her best mates, Jane and Tara, was just a way to have fun. But when the group is joined by charismatic bad-boy Dean, things onstage and backstage start happening, fast.

Rock Star, Superstar, Blake Nelson

When Pete, a talented bass player, moves from playing in the high school jazz band to playing in a popular rock group, he finds the experience exhilarating even as his new fame jeopardizes his relationship with girlfriend Margaret.

Tribute to Another Dead Rock Star, Randy Powell
For a tribute to his mother, a dead rock star, fifteen-year-old Grady returns to Seattle, where he faces his mixed feelings for his younger half-brother Louie while pondering his own future.

Confessions of a Backup Dancer, Tucker Shaw
Kelly Kimball spent a summer as a backup dancer for Darcy Barnes, the biggest pop star in the world.  Kelly’s got the real story on Darcy, her life, her family, and her entourage — and she’s spilling it here for the first time.

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, Jordan Sonnenblick
When his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, thirteen-year-old Steven tries to deal with his complicated emotions, his school life, and his desire to support his family.

Backstage Pass, Gaby Triana
After moving to Miami, Florida, sixteen-year-old Desert McGraw, whose life as the daughter of a rock star has been anything but normal, determines to make a permanent home for herself and her family–even if it means breaking up the band.

Pay the Piper: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fairy Tale, Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple
When Callie interviews the band, Brass Rat, for her school newspaper, her feelings are ambivalent, but when all the children of Northampton begin to disappear on Halloween, she knows where the dangerous search must begin.

Troll Bridge: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fairy Tale, Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple
Sixteen-year-old harpist prodigy Moira is transported to a strange and mystical wilderness, where she finds herself in the middle of a deadly struggle between a magical fox and a monstrous troll.