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Behind the Song Paperback – September 5, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This anthology about music hits all the right notes. Young adult authors and musicians share the power of music through essays and short stories inspired by particular songs. The 14 entries are sparked by a diverse group of artists, such as Bob Dylan, the Killers, Amy Winehouse, Oasis, and the Eagles. Readers will recognize some of the popular authors who contributed, such as Ellen Hopkins, Ellen Oh, David Arnold, and Elisa Ludwig. The pieces are about more than just the songs and reveal personal philosophies that will resonate even with readers unfamiliar with the music. A biography of each contributor is included to further explore the impact music has had on the lives of each author. All of the songs are listed on a comprehensive playlist so that teens can create their own mixtapes. Highlights of the collection are Beth Kephart's personal essay "The Opposite of Ordinary," inspired by "A Place for Us" from West Side Story, and Hopkins's "Tiffany Twisted," inspired by the Eagles' "Hotel California." VERDICT A perfect addition to school and public libraries—especially useful as a curriculum tie-in or for writing prompts.—Kevin McGuire, Woodland Hills School District, PA
"A compilation of stories and essays written by authors and musicians sharing the deep influences of music that helped to shape their lives, particularly calling upon their own adolescences...giving readers glimpses into the personal musical influences of such authors as Ellen Oh and E.C. Myers as well as a haunting essay by musician Donn T. " - Kirkus
"This anthology about music hits all the right notes... The 14 entries are sparked by a diverse group of artists, such as Bob Dylan, the Killers, Amy Winehouse, Oasis, and the Eagles. Readers will recognize some of the popular authors who contributed, such as Ellen Hopkins, Ellen Oh, David Arnold, and Elisa Ludwig. The pieces are about more than just the songs and reveal personal philosophies that will resonate even with readers unfamiliar with the music."" - School Library Journal
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One of my favorite things to do when I'm reading a book is find out if it has a playlist, or if it doesn't, make one of my own. So when I read the synopsis of Behind the Song, I wanted to read it so bad. This little collection of stories has a perfect mix of fun, heartfelt, and magical tales. And while there are some stories I enjoyed more than others ("Suburbiana," "You Know Something's Happening Here," "The Ride," and "Doomed"), they all bring something special to the collection. Of course I made a playlist to go along, and discovered some old forgotten songs ("Wonderwall," "Dancing Nancies," "The Middle"), some songs I'd never usually listen to, but enjoyed ("Cold Beverage," "It Hurts"), and even discovered a few new favorites ("October Song," "All the Lights Went Out"). If you love to read and love music, be sure to pick this one up!