The Bulletin of

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of the Center for Children's Books

The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based booklist available as an online-only Bulletin feature. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have them to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source. See the archive for lists from previous months.

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All the World's a Stage:
A Theatrical Dozen

--Eti Berland, BCCB volunteer

Whether it’s the glare of the lights, the energy from the audience, or the slightly itchy but entrancing costumes, once the curtain rises we find ourselves transported to worlds unknown. This month’s dozen allows you to transport yourself into the magical and wondrous world of drama, both onstage and backstage. Fall is the perfect time to check out live theater so join the shows already in progress in this month’s dozen.

father dozen

Blubaugh, Penny. Blood & Flowers. HarperTeen, 2011. Gr. 8-10.

After running away from her drug-addled parents, Persia finds a loving home with the Outlaw Puppet Troupe, an underground theater company made up of misfit faeries and humans, but her new life is threatened when the troupe is forced to flee to the realm of Faerie. (BCCB 3/11)


Creech, Sharon. Replay. Joanna Cotler Books, 2005. Gr. 3-6.

 When he earns the role of the ‘old crone’ in his school play, Leo finds that preparing for this role means looking deeper into his father’s youth and discovers that the power of theater lies in imagining other people’s experiences. (BCCB 11/05)


Flinn, Alex. Diva. HarperTeen, 2006. Gr. 7-10.

Caitlin needs to escape the constant presence of her abusive ex-boyfriend Nick, who still attends her high school, and find her voice again. Her dream of becoming an opera singer becomes one step closer when she auditions and is accepted into the musical theater program at the Miami High School of the Arts. (BCCB 2/07)


Golding, Julia. The Diamond of Drury Lane. Roaring Brook, 2008. Gr. 4–7.

Living in the Drury Lane Theater in 1790s London stirs up drama and adventure for thirteen-year old Catherine “Cat” Royal when she is caught eavesdropping on her guardian, who is discussing a diamond hidden on the premises that must be kept secret at all costs. (BCCB 9/08)


Green, John & Levithan, David. Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Dutton, 2010. Gr. 9-12.

Will Grayson’s best friend Tiny Cooper is on a mission: to write and perform a heart stopping autobiographical musical that makes the world better and use his matchmaking powers to set up his best friend with the perfect girl. In an amazing turn of events, Will Grayson crosses paths with another teen named Will Grayson, who begins dating Tiny, and their lives connect in new and twisted ways. (BCCB 5/10)


Hoffman, Mary. Amazing Grace. Pictures by Caroline Binch. Dial Books for Young Readers, 1991. Ages 4-8 yrs.

Graces loves acting out stories and is excited to try out for the lead in her class’s performance of Peter Pan. But when her classmates tell her she can’t be Peter Pan because she is African American and a girl, Grace is crushed and seeks out guidance from her mother and grandmother, who help her see she can be anything she wants to be. (BCCB 9/92)


Kathleen, Karr. Gilbert & Sullivan Set Me Free. Hyperion Books for Children, 2003. Gr. 7-10.

As the youngest inmate in Massachusetts' Sherborn Prison for Women in 1914, Lily Dodge leads as miserable life. But when she earns the lead role in the performance of The Pirates of Penzance, under the guidance of the chaplain, Mrs. Wilkinson, she finds hope and an inner strength to look beyond the walls of the prison to a new future. (BCCB 9/03)


Kluger, Steve. My Most Excellent Year: a Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, & Fenway Park. Dial Books, 2008. Gr. 8-10.

Three high school juniors reflect on their experiences as freshmen in a coming of age story that combines the worlds of baseball, musical theater, and social activism. In their landmark freshman year Alejandra, Augie, and T.C. struggle with love, loss, and friendship, but in the process discover who they are and where they belong. (BCCB 3/08)


Messner, Kate. Marty McGuire. Illus. by Brian Floca. Scholastic Press, 2011. Gr. 2-4.

Marty is a tomboy who enjoys science and finding frogs in a third grade class obsessed with fluffy princesses. Her life is turned upside down when she is assigned the role of the princess in her class’s production of The Frog Prince. (BCCB 6/11)


Lockhart, E. Dramarama. Hyperion, 2007. Gr. 9-12.

United by their love of musical theater, Sayde and Demi are kindred souls until they head to a performing arts camp where Sayde is stuck in the ensemble while Demi becomes the rising star, and the bonds that connect them start to fray. (BCCB 9/07)


Schwartz, Amy. Starring Miss Darlene. Roaring Brook Press, 2007. Ages 5-9 yrs.

When Miss Darlene, a lovely hippo, takes a theater class, things go from bad to worse when she takes the stage and proceeds to pour water on the audience, flub her lines, and sleep through her cues. (BCCB 9/07)


Wilkinson, Lili. Pink. HarperTeen, 2011. Gr. 9-12.

Ava is looking to reinvent herself from her Goth-lesbian identity and learn what it feels like to wear pink, so she transfers to a private school and joins the school musical’s stage crew. Torn between the worlds of her antiestablishment parents and cynical girlfriend and her new mainstream friends at school, Ava finds her own way to be herself. (BCCB 1/11)



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This page was last updated on September 1, 2012.