children's books, Fiction

Set the Stage  

From storytelling to acting to dancing, kids are the star of the show in these titles for budding thespians. Curated by Bonita Bignar. 

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
book
cloudLibrary eBook
cloudLibrary eAudiobook
Hoopla eAudiobook
Grace loves stories, whether they’re from books, movies, or the kind her grandmother tells. When her school decides to perform Peter Pan, Grace longs to play the lead, but her classmates point out that Peter was a boy. Besides, he wasn’t black. 
 
With the support of her family, Grace learns that she can be anything she wants to be, and the results are amazing!


Angelina on Stage by Katharine Holabird
book
In Angelina on Stage, Angelina has a part in a grown-ups’ ballet, and so does her cousin Henry. But Angelina’s excitement turns to jealousy during rehearsals when Henry becomes the favorite. Will Angelina and Henry still be friends after the performance? 


Dooby Dooby Moo by Doreen Cronin
book
Spanish book
cloudLibrary eAudiobook
Hoopla eAudiobook
Hoopla movie
Sure, they can type, but did you know that Farmer Brown’s animals can sing? The bestselling duo, Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin—who brought you Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type; Giggle, Giggle, Quack; and Duck for President—cordially invite you to the county fair, where the talent is truly wild. 
 
Duck and his friends are at it again. But this time they’re pooling their considerable resources to win a local talent show, because first prize is a trampoline! 
 
The cows want to sing. 
The sheep want to sing. 
The pigs want to…dance. Dance? 
 
And Duck? Duck just wants to win that trampoline. But first he’ll have to handle Farmer Brown. 


Drama by Raina Telgemeier
book
OverDrive eBook
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead, she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! 


The Marvels by Brian Selznick
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The journey begins at sea in 1766, with a boy named Billy Marvel. After surviving a shipwreck, he finds work in a London theatre. There, his family flourishes for generations as brilliant actors until 1900, when young Leontes Marvel is banished from the stage. 
 
Nearly a century later, runaway Joseph Jervis seeks refuge with an uncle in London. Albert Nightingale’s strange, beautiful house, with its mysterious portraits and ghostly presences, captivates Joseph and leads him on a search for clues about the house, his family, and the past. 


Nancy Clancy, Star of Stage and Screen by Jane O’Connor
book
cloudLibrary eBook
Hoopla eBook
It’s Nancy’s time to shine as she takes center stage in the school play! There’s no way Nancy will get stuck in the chorus again this year–she’s been practicing guitar for months and her audition was superb. So, when Nancy gets a callback, she’s overwhelmed with joy! But after Nancy’s performance during the play is captured on a video that gets posted on YouTube, it seems her stardom has gone viral. Will Nancy’s humiliation get the best of her, or will she find a way to embrace her newfound fame? 
 
Fans of Nancy Clancy will enjoy watching Nancy sparkle in the spotlight in her latest chapter book. The central theme of all the Nancy Clancy books shines through, showing the power of positive thinking.


No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman
book 
cloudLibrary eAudiobook
Hoopla eAudiobook
Wallace Wallace won’t lie, even if it means detention. And after he handed in a scorching book report of the classic novel, Old Shep, My Pal, detention is just what he’s been handed. He is sure he’s done nothing wrong: he hated every minute of that book, especially when the dog dies in the end! Why do dogs always die at the end? 
 
Wallace refuses to do a rewrite of his report, so his English teacher, who happens to be directing the school play of Old Shep, My Pal, forces him go to the rehearsals to teach him a lesson on why the story is the way it is. Surrounded by theater kids who are apprehensive of him, Wallace sets out to prove himself. But not by changing his mind. Instead, he changes the play into a rock-and-roll rendition, complete with Rollerblades and a moped! 


Positively Izzy by Terri Libenson
book
cloudLibrary eBook
cloudLibrary eAudiobook
Hoopla eBook 
Hoopla eAudiobook
Freading eBook
Middle school is all about labels. 
 
Izzy is the dreamer. There’s nothing Izzy loves more than acting in skits and making up funny stories. The downside? She can never quite focus enough to get her schoolwork done. 
 
Bri is the brain. But she wants people to see there’s more to her than just a report card full of As. At the same time, she wishes her mom would accept her the way she is and stop bugging her to “break out of her shell” and join drama club. 
 
The girls’ lives converge in unexpected ways on the day of a school talent show, which turns out to be even more dramatic than either Bri or Izzy could have imagined.


The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary L. Blackwood
book
cloudLibrary eBook
cloudLibrary eAudiobook
Widge is an orphan with a rare talent for shorthand. His fearsome master has just one demand: steal Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”–or else. Widge has no choice but to follow orders, so he works his way into the heart of the Globe Theatre, where Shakespeare’s players perform. As full of twists and turns as a London alleyway, this entertaining novel is rich in period details, colorful characters, villainy, and drama.


Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
book
Julia is very short for her age, but by the end of the summer run of The Wizard of Oz, she’ll realize how big she is inside, where it counts. She hasn’t ever thought of herself as a performer, but when the wonderful director of Oz casts her as a Munchkin, she begins to see herself in a new way. As Julia becomes friendly with the poised and wise Olive – one of the adults with dwarfism who’ve joined the production’s motley crew of Munchkins – and with her deeply artistic neighbor, Mrs. Chang, Julia’s own sense of self as an artist grows. Soon, she doesn’t want to fade into the background and it’s a good thing, because her director has more big plans for Julia!

*All summaries courtesy of the publisher unless otherwise noted.

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