March is Music in Our Schools Month, and I think it is safe to say that music is a big part of our lives. Music is part of our cultures, our childhoods, and yes, even our literature. Some books are obvious — Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is the first thing that popped into all of your heads right now, isn’t it? — but there are plenty of other books in which music is a key element to either the character development or the plot.
Janet Tashjian’s For What It’s Worth falls in the category of obvious, but it’s a great example of how music integrates into a plot and a character. Quinn is a virtual encyclopedia of music knowledge and is also growing up in LA during the tumultuous years of Vietnam. Besides having witty characters and an addictive plot that includes a draft dodger and a Ouija board, there are hand-drawn images, factoids, and lists of songs and albums that Quinn uses for his high school paper column, which is naturally all about music. Anyone with an appreciation for classic rock is going to have fun agreeing with (or disagreeing with) Quinn’s picks. Continue reading Hear Me Out: Music in YA Lit