On Stage - Performance and Performing for Young Adults

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Books for young adults about performance, performers, and being on stage.

Article in the Themes category.


Dancing in red shoes will kill you / by Dorian Cirrone - Sixteen-year-old Kayla, a ballet dancer, and her sister Paterson, an artist, are both helped and hindered by classmates as they confront sexism, conformity, and censorship at their high school for the arts while still managing to maintain their sense of humor.

  • The Melting Season, by Celeste Conway - Giselle, the sheltered daughter of two famous ballet dancers, comes to terms with her relationships with both her late father and her mother, realizing some important truths that help her move forward both in her life and with her own dancing.

Dancer, by Lorri Hewett - Sixteen-year-old Stephanie struggles to perfect her ballet dancing as her classes are complicated by the introduction of a new male dancer.

House of Dance, by Beth Kephart - During one of her daily visits across town to visit her dying grandfather, fifteen-year-old Rosie discovers a dance studio that helps her find a way to bring her family members together.

Confessions of a Backup Dancer, by Anonymous, as told to Tucker Shaw

Another way to dance, by Martha Southgate - Accepted at New York City's prestigious School of American Ballet, a delighted Vicki Harris commits herself to a dancing career but is disturbed when she and the school's only other African-American student are targeted with racism.

Poor Dancer's Almanac: Managing life and work in the Performing Arts, edited by David R. White, Life Friedman, and Tia Tibbitts Levinson

Theater & Spoken Word

Dramarama, by E. Lockhart

  • Klepto. by Jenny Pollack - In 1981, fourteen-year-old Julie, a drama major at the High School of Performing Arts in New York City, becomes best friends with an attractive new girl who introduces Julie to the exciting but dangerous world of shoplifting.

The Spoken Word Revolution: Slam, Hip Hop & the Poetry of a New Generation, edited by Mark Eleveld

Singing & Playing Music

Beige, by Cecil Castelucci

Plastic Angel, by Nerissa Nields

Small Steps, by Louis Sachar

  • When the Black Girl Sings, by Bil Wright - Lahni struggles with being the only African American in her school - and in her family - but finds a new voice when she starts to sing in a church choir and at a school competition.

Trollbridge, a Rock'n'Roll Fairy Tale, by Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Playing the Guitar, by Frederick Noad

Performing Arts in General

Overcoming Stage Fright in Everyday Life, by Joyce Ashley

Speak up! A Guide to Public Speaking, by Patricia Sternberg

How to be Your Own Booking Agent and Save Thousands of Dollars: a Performing Artist's guide to a Successful Touring Career, by Jeri Goldstein

Opportunities in Performing Arts Careers, by Bonnie Bjorguine Bekken