This Song Will Save Your Life – The Musical

Playbill has the news that This Song Will Save Your Life has been optioned for both stage and screen.  The producers optioning it are Tony Award winner Kevin McCollum from Avenue Q and Rent and Emmy Award nomineee Michael Novick from Glee.

"I’ve always been most attracted to completely original stories that illustrate the human condition and the way in which we create our own families," McCollum said in a statement. "We were drawn to Leila’s beautiful and inspiring story because we thought the journey of the main character was compelling, and the way she weaves her story and the songs together is unique — a story tailor-made for both the stage and the screen."

Review: Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan by Jeanette Winter

malala iqbal

Malala, Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan by Jeanette Winter

This nonfiction picture book celebrates the accomplishments of two young heroes from Pakistan.  Told side-by-side, in a book that flips over, the two young people both managed to make real changes in their country.  Malala Yousafzai is a very well-known heroine who fights for the rights of young women in Pakistan to have an education.  Iqbal Masih has also won human rights awards and fought for the end of child slavery in the carpet industry.  Both of them were shot as a result of their efforts to change their country.  Tragically, Iqbal was killed while Malala survived and continues to inspire people around the world.  These are examples of children who created the change their country was desperate for, changing the lives of other children through their efforts.  True heroes in every sense of the word!

Winter begins each of these nonfiction stories with an Author’s Note that explains in detail the life of the young person.  The story parts are told in spare text that shows on every page the ferocious pride that Winter has for their work.  There is an anger on the page, one that is exactly the right tone for what is happening in their stories.  While Iqbal may be lesser known to American children than Malala, their stories are so supportive of one another that the pairing strengthens both their stories.  Readers may pick up the book for Malala and along the way learn of this boy whose efforts were just as amazing.

Winter’s illustrations have the feeling of framed artwork on the page.  Done in strong colors, they have a beauty and straightforward nature that works well with the subject.  There is a directness here that you will also feel in the writing, the two combining to make a book that hits hard at what injustice there is in the world but also at how important children can be in realizing change.

A beautiful and inspiring picture book that adds diversity and true child heroism to your shelves.  Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from copy received from Beach Lane Books.

My Top 25 Picks for 2014 Teen Reads

Here are my top selections for the best books for teens in 2014.  Please share your favorites in the comments since try as I may, I never manage to make it through all books published during the year!

100 Sideways Miles Beetle Boy

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

Beetle Boy by Margaret Wiley

Belzhar Complicit

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

A Creature of Moonlight Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1)

A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future Half Bad (Half Bad, #1)

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A. S. King

Half Bad by Sally Green

I'll Give You the Sun The Impossible Knife of Memory

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lies We Tell Ourselves My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

Never Ending Noggin

Never Ending by Martyn Bedford

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

The Scar Boys She Is Not Invisible

The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

The Story of Owen (Dragon Slayer of Trondheim, #1) Through the Woods

The Story of Owen by E. K. Johnston

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone We Were Liars

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Why We Took the Car Wildlife

Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf

Wildlife by Fiona Wood

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski