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21st Century Kids: Feel the Beat

Mona Gilbert, Children's Librarian, Northridge Branch Library,
Young person with her headphones and singing into her hair bursh.
“Where words fail, music speaks.”—Hans Christian Andersen

The topic of “music” is very broad, as it covers a wide range of styles, instruments, platforms, and usage. Kids interact with music every day. For example, music enhances other mediums such as films. Most of all, music facilitates self-expression; its presence can affect emotions and moods, and determine the pace of daily activities. For many, music is an essential part of life. This sampling of books highlights different styles of music, innovation, and the incorporation of musical themes in children’s fiction.

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Feel the Beat in Books

When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop
Hill, Laban Carrick

How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz
Winter, Jonah

Harlem's Little Blackbird
Watson, Renée

Children's Book of Music

The First Rule of Punk
Pérez, Celia C.

I Am Drums
Grosso, Mike

Tune it Out
Sumner, Jamie

Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay
Hood, Susan

Dear Hank Williams
Holt, Kimberly Willis

Feel the Beat: Dance Poems that Zing from Salsa to Swing
Singer, Marilyn