Libraries Rock!

For Tween Readers

Tween playing guitar while jumping over a pile of books


This recommended reading list provides a broad list of books related to this summer’s theme of music. This list includes audio, braille, and large print titles and is recommended for those reading at a grade 5 through 8 reading level up to a junior and senior high reading level.


To order any of these titles, contact the library by email, mail or phone. You may also request these titles online through WolfPAC. Identification numbers for braille books begin with BR, large print books begin with LP, and audiobooks begin with DB or DBC. All audiobooks and available braille books listed are linked to the Braille and Audio Reading Download site (BARD) for downloading.


Grades 5 to 8


Beowulf: A New Telling by Robert Nye

BR016433; 1 Volume of braille. Volume 1. 

Long ago Grendel, a ferocious monster, terrorized the Danes until Beowulf, a valiant Anglo-Saxon warrior, vanquished him. A narrative interpretation based on the Old English epic poem. 1968.


Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan   


Read by David De Vries. Reading time: 10 hours, 33 minutes.

Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined with a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, three children find themselves caught up in the same thread of destiny and tied together by the same harmonica. Mark Twain Award Nominee. 2015. 


First Flight around the World: The Adventures of the American Fliers Who Won the Race by Tim Grove


Read by Patrick Downer. Reading time: 3 hours, 8 minutes.

An account of the 1924 race among six nations--Argentina, France, Great Britain, Italy, Portugal, and the United States--to be the first to circumnavigate the globe by airplane. Describes the efforts of the U. S. team as they struggled to overcome limited resources, hazardous weather, and foreign cultures. 2015.     


Flush by Carl Hiaasen   

BR017107; 2 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. 



Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 7 hours, 23 minutes.

The Florida Keys. With their father jailed for sinking a gambling boat, Noah Underwood and his sister Abbey gather evidence that casino owner Dusty Muleman is illegally emptying sewage tanks into coastal waters. They receive help from a former card dealer, a pirate, and Dusty's ex-girlfriend. 2005.


I, Too, Sing America: Three Centuries of African American Poetry by Catherine Clinton

BR012244; 1 volume of braille. Volume 1. 


Read by Bob Moore. Reading time: 1 hour, 50 minutes.

Thirty-five selections by twenty-five prominent poets spanning American history from colonial days through modern times. A brief biography and explanatory notes precede each work. 1998.


Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

BR015663; 2 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. 



Read by Conrad Feininger. Reading time: 4 hours, 15 minutes.

Siblings Wendy, John, and Michael fly to Never-Never-Land with Peter, the boy who refuses to grow up. Unabridged version of original. 1911.


Sounder by William Howard Armstrong

BR006227; web-braille not available. 

BR009764; 1 volume of braille. Volume 1. 



Read by Earle Hyman. Reading time: 2 hours, 25 minutes.

The mother and son of a black sharecropper family in the South struggle for survival when the sheriff arrests the father for stealing and shoots their devoted coon dog. Mark Twain Award nominee, 1971-1972. Newbery Medal. 1969.


Grades 6 to 9


Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

BR052042; web-braille not available.



Read by Celeste Lawson. Reading time: 7 hours, 22 minutes.

In Ayortha, where singing and beauty are prized above all else, Aza's voice soars, but her looks are homely. While discovering her true self, Aza encounters a mysterious magical mirror, a romantic prince, a queen's treachery, and ogres. 2006.    


Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

BR017274; 2 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. 



Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 7 hours, 26 minutes.

Middle school student Roy has just moved from Montana to south Florida. He befriends a boy named Mullet Fingers and his stepsister, who are trying to prevent a pancake-house chain from building a restaurant over a colony of burrowing owls. Newbery Honor Book. 2002.          


I Remember, I Remember...Favourite Poems by Joan Duce


A collection of 118 poems from 40 authors. 1987.


Learn to Speak Music by John Crossingham 


Read by Mike Stefanelli. Reading time: 2 hours, 4 minutes.

Musician draws on his practical experience to provide a guide to creating, performing, and promoting your own songs. Discusses playing an instrument, forming a band, writing lyrics, marketing your group, and locating public performance spots. 2009.   


Shiva's Fire by Suzanne Fisher Staples



Read by Yolande Bavan. Reading time: 7 hours, 47 minutes.

Parvati feels destined to dance. At eleven, she is invited by a Guru to study sacred forms of the art, and she must leave her family. But the most difficult decision comes later, when she must choose between her heart's desire and her devotion to dance. 2000.


Things Hoped For by Andrew Clements

BR017136; 1 volume of braille. Volume 1. 



Read by Megan Burnett. Reading time: 4 hours, 7 minutes.

Seventeen-year-old violin prodigy Gwen lives with her ailing grandfather in Manhattan while attending a music academy on a scholarship. As Gwen prepares to audition for a prestigious college, her grandfather disappears. Fellow musician Robert, Bobby, provides help and friendship. Things Not Seen series, book 2. 2006.


Witness by Karen Hesse



Read by Suzanne Toren. Reading time: 1 hour, 47 minutes.

Vermont, 1924. A series of poems expresses the views of eleven people, including a young black girl and a young Jewish girl, when the Ku Klux Klan tries to infiltrate the town. Gateway Book Award nominee, 2003-2004. 2001.


Junior and Senior High


The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green


Recounts the life and adventures of Robin Hood, who, with his band of followers, lived as an outlaw in Sherwood Forest, dedicated to fighting tyranny. 1956.


Born to Rock by Gordon Korman

BR016927; 2 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. 


Read by Gary Roan. Reading time: 4 hours, 59 minutes.

Young Republican Leo Caraway loses his Harvard scholarship on a technicality and learns that his biological dad is a legend--former punk rocker "King Maggot." Hoping for college money, Leo joins King's comeback tour as a roadie and grows up along the way. Gateway Book Award nominee, 2008-2009. 2006.


Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

BR018365; 2 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. 



Read by Ray Hagen. Reading time: 8 hours, 20 minutes.

The narrator, a mentally impaired man of thirty-two, receives an operation to increase his learning ability. But although his mentality develops at high speed, there is always the possibility of regression. Nebula Award. 1988.


I Like Jazz by Donald Myrus

BR000078; web-braille not available. 

After briefly describing the origin and history of jazz and related forms, the author discusses the best known jazz musicians, their distinctive styles, and his personal preferences. A list of recommended recordings is included. 1964.


Just People and Other Poems for Young Readers and Paper/Pen/Poem: A Young Writer's Way to Begin by Kathi Appelt

BR011992; 1 volume of braille. Volume 1. 

Collection of twenty-two poems describing personal reactions to objects and events such as birds, pebbles, a first kiss, and the death of a loved one. The second section provides background information on each poem with an invitation to the reader to write about suggested topics. 1997.


The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

BR019998; 4 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. Volume 3. Volume 4. 


Read by Jill Fox. Reading time: 7 hours, 59 minutes.

After a family tragedy, Lucy abandons her promising career as a concert pianist, much to the dismay of her controlling mother and grandfather. When her brother Gus, a fellow musical prodigy, gets a new instructor, Lucy's passion for music reemerges. 2013.


The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Emily Dunlap


Read by Grace Rogers. Reading time: 8 hours.

In eighteenth-century Vienna, Austria, fifteen-year-old Theresa seeks a way to help her mother and brother financially while investigating the murder of her father, a renowned violinist in Haydn's orchestra at the court of Prince Esterhazy, after his body is found near a gypsy camp. Gateway Book Award nominee, 2010-2011. 2007.     


Of Sound Mind by Jean Ferris



Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 5 hours, 10 minutes.

High school senior Theo, who interprets spoken English into sign language for his domineering mother, resents her monopoly of his time. With the support and encouragement of Ivy, whose father is deaf, Theo acknowledges the need to develop his own talents. Gateway Book Award nominee, 2003-2004. 2001.   


On My Journey Now: Looking at African-American History through the Spirituals by Nikki Giovanni

BR017356; 1 volume of braille. Volume 1. 

Poet explains traditional spirituals from the viewpoint of the original singers--Africans in bondage--and their children. Points out the songs' universal meanings and ways they illustrate the challenges of slaves dealing with their captivity. Includes complete lyrics for quoted spirituals. 2007.


Opera, What's All the Screaming About? by Roger Englander

BR006259; web-braille not available. 


Read by Dennis Rooney. Reading time: 3 hours, 42 minutes.

An internationally known producer and director gives a witty and informal introduction to the world of opera. He traces the development of opera, presents the plots of fifty popular operas, and provides an in-depth study of Bizet's 'Carmen.' Written for opera lovers and for people who think they might like it. 1983.


The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

BR009695; 2 volumes of braille. Volume 1. Volume 2. 

DB014868 (Spanish language)



Read by Emilio De Torre. Reading time: 9 hours, 40 minutes.

Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 8 hours, 29 minutes.

The future Edward VI of England and a young pauper agree to trade places for a few days. The pauper becomes king, and he finds it quite insufferable. Meanwhile, the prince is roaming the street in tatters. People and circumstances almost make the role reversal permanent. 1991.


The Raging Quiet by Sherryl Jordan


Suspicious of sixteen-year-old Marnie, a newcomer to their village, the residents accuse her of witchcraft when she discovers that the village madman is not crazy but deaf and she begins to communicate with him through hand gestures. Some violence. 2005.


Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz

BR051939; web-braille not available. 



Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 7 hours, 49 minutes.

To avoid jail, fourteen-year-old Matt enters a foster program in a remote Yorkshire village. Matt uncovers an evil plot involving witchcraft and finds his destiny inextricably intertwined with the site of an ancient stone circle, Raven's Gate. The Gatekeepers, book 1. Some violence. 2005.


The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe


Read by Barb Scamman. Reading time: 5 hours, 54 minutes.

At seventeen, Daisy feels imprisoned by her brother Steven's autism and its effects and her only escape is through her trumpet into the world of jazz, but when her parents decide to send Steven to an institution she is not ready to let him go. 2014.  


Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson


Read by Barry Bernson. Reading time: 12 hours, 30 minutes.

Narrative biography of composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) and the history of Russia, from the 1917 Revolution to the events of WWII. Highlights how the Nazi invasion was an impetus for Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony, which rallied his fellow countrymen and the world. 2015.    


Tribute to Another Dead Rock Star by Randy Powell



Read by Phil Regensdorf. Reading time: 4 hours, 40 minutes.

Fifteen-year-old Grady returns to Seattle for a rock concert honoring his late mother, a heavy-metal icon. Grady needs a new place to live but thinks his mentally disabled half-brother Louie's large Christian family won't accept him. Some strong language. 1999.


With a Song in His Heart: The Story of Richard Rodgers David Ewen

BR000148; web-braille not available. 

The composer's outstanding successes from "A Connecticut Yankee" to "The Sound of Music" are described from inception to triumph, and attention is given to the part played by Hart and Hammerstein as collaborators. 1963.