Shelf Life: These books rock!

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The summer reading program at the library this year is all about music!

We play a musical movie every Friday at 1 p.m. at Columbus Library. This week, bring the whole family for “Annie” and free popcorn.

Coming up in July, we have a handbells workshop for teens on July 5, an instrument petting zoo for kids on July 18 and an ‘80s murder mystery party for adults on July 24.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In the meantime, check out these books with a musical theme. Special thanks to Martha Nobles for curating this list!


“Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin” by Lloyd Moss

This Caldecott honor book from 2000 combines counting rhymes and energetic illustrations to introduce kids to musical instruments and groups, until an entire orchestra is assembled on stage.

“Do Re Mi: If You Can Read Music, Thank Guido d’Arezzo” by Susan L. Roth

A thousand years ago, Guido d’Arezzo invented a system of musical notation that allowed people to read music. Budding musicians will be captivated by this story about his invention of staves, clefs, and notes.

“Olivia Forms a Band” by Ian Falconer

Everyone’s favorite pig, Olivia, uses household objects such as pots, pans, her brother’s toys and her father’s suspenders to form a spectacular band.


“Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist” by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

This young adult romance novel takes place over the course of one night, as Nick and Norah, two teenagers recovering from broken hearts, adventure around New York City.

“This Song Will Save Your Life” by Leila Sales

In this beautiful story about friendship and the power of music to bring people together, Elise finally stops feeling like an outsider when she makes new friends who introduce her to the art of DJing.

“Playlist for the Dead” by Michelle Falkoff

There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, Sam’s best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs and a suicide note: “For Sam — listen and you’ll understand.”


“Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream” by Neil Young

Legendary singer-songwriter Neil Young writes about his Canadian childhood and 40 years in the music industry in this autobiography.

“The Last Song” by Nicholas Sparks

Twenty-year-old Ronnie moves from New York City to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, to spend the summer with her father, a former concert pianist.

“Songbook” by Nick Hornby

Called “amusing and inspiring” by Rolling Stone, this collection of essays features wise and hilarious musings on why we love and listen to pop music.

Jen Pace Dickenson is the youth services librarian for Polk County Public Libraries. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call 828-894-8721.