Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Song of the World

Carlos Santana grew up surrounded by music. His father, a beloved mariachi performer, teaches his son how to play the violin when he is only six years old. But when Carlos discovers American blues, he is captivated by the raw honesty of the music. Unable to think of anything else, he loses all interest in the violin. When Carlos finally receives his first guitar, his whole life begins to change.

The Sound of Freedom

Life is becoming dangerous for the Jews of Krakow in 1936 with incidents of violence and persecution increasing day by day. Twelve-year-old Anna begs her father to leave Poland, but he is reluctant to give up his position as an acclaimed clarinetist in the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra. After barely escaping from an attack by a group of violent thugs, it becomes clear that the family must leave. Anna’s father auditions for the famous Bronislaw Huberman, a world renowned violinist, who is searching for Jewish musicians to play in a new orchestra in Palestine. This poignant story is based on real events in pre-war Poland and Palestine. After saving 700 Jews and their families, Bronislaw Huberman went on to establish what later became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Skating Over Thin Ice

Imogen St Pierre is a musical prodigy, a classical pianist touring the international concert halls in a trio with her father and grandfather. Though clearly accomplished, she is also painfully awkward socially, getting lost in the music even after it’s over. Imogen’s in the final year in a private boarding school where she meets a boy of the same age, Nathan McCormick, who turns out to be the “Next Great Hockey Player.” Nathan, however, has recently been penalized for a vicious fight in an international tournament. Imogen and Nathan don’t exactly become an item, but there’s an elusive special quality to their connection. Jean Mills has given us a thoughtful, moving, powerful story about what it’s like to be gifted and exceptional — and still young.

Solo.

Blade never asked for a life of the rich and famous. In fact, he’d give anything not to be the son of Rutherford Morrison, a washed-up rock star and drug addict with delusions of a comeback. Or to no longer be part of a family known most for lost potential, failure, and tragedy, including the loss of his mother. The one true light is his girlfriend, Chapel, but her parents have forbidden their relationship, assuming Blade will become just like his father.

Mama Africa!

Miriam Makeba, a Grammy Award–winning South African singer, rose to fame in the hearts of her people at the pinnacle of apartheid―a brutal system of segregation similar to American Jim Crow laws. Mama Africa, as they called her, raised her voice to help combat these injustices at jazz clubs in Johannesburg; in exile, at a rally beside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and before the United Nations.

Danza!

Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernandez, dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Published in time for the 100th anniversary of Hernandez’s birth, Danza! is the first picture book about the famous dancer and choreographer. Danza! is a celebration of Hernandez’s life and of the rich history of dance in Mexico. As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher, until she saw a performance of dancers in her town square. She was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. She began to study many different types of dance, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. Hernandez traveled throughout Mexico studying and learning regional dances. Soon she founded her own dance company, El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, where she integrated her knowledge of ballet and modern dance with folkloric dances. The group began to perform all over the country and soon all over the world, becoming an international sensation that still tours today. Duncan Tonatiuh’s picture books have been honored with many awards and accolades, including the Pura Belpre Award, the Robert F. Sibert Award, and the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award. With Tonatiuh’s distinctive Mixtec-inspired artwork and colorful drawings that seem to leap off the page, Danza! will enthrall and inspire young readers with the fascinating story of this important dancer and choreographer.

The First Rule Of Punk

Twelve-year-old María Luisa O’Neill-Morales (who really prefers to be called Malú) reluctantly moves with her Mexican-American mother to Chicago and starts seventh grade with a bang–violating the dress code with her punk rock aesthetic and spurning the middle school’s most popular girl in favor of starting a band with a group of like-minded weirdos.

The Victoria In My Head

Shy fifteen-year-old Cuban American Victoria Cruz feels trapped by the monotony of running on the cross country team and keeping up with her studies to maintain her scholarship to her prestigious college prep school, but the chance to join a rock band in need of a lead singer gives her the opportunity to confront her anxieties, find love and disappointment, and create a new playlist for her life.

Kaleidoscope Song

In Khayelitsha, South Africa, Neo’s passion for music leads her to her first love–Tale, the female lead singer of a local band–and an internship at the local radio station, and both experiences teach Neo about the risks and rewards of using her own voice to empower others.