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What to Read if You Like Hadestown the Musical, by Cindy Shutts

We have one more great Broadway inspired read-alike list. Hadestown is hands down one of The Teen’s favorite musicals (the other is American Psycho, the London version). Today teen librarian Cindy Shutts shares with us her reading suggestions based on Hadestown.

“It’s a sad song, It’s a sad tale, It’s a tragedy, It’s a sad song, But we sing it anyway” Hermes

Hadestown is a Tony award winning musical retelling of the classic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. It is based on the album by Anaïs Mitchell. There are three different albums, The Broadway Cast, The Live Original Cast Recording of the New York Off Broadway Cast, and The Concept Album.

The musical takes place during the Depression. Hermes is the narrator who is a friend of Orpheus. Orpheus woos and marries Eurydice, but songs cannot keep Eurydice’s stomach full and she begins to look for more. Hades has built a large factory in the underworld which has caused much suffering. Persephone is Hades long suffering wife who is forced to go back to the underworld every winter. She hates Hades’ factory even though Hades claims he built it for her. Hades and Persephone fight until Hades says he will find someone who will appreciate the factory. Hades tricks Eurydice into the underworld by telling her that she will never be hungry again.

The rest of the musical is the traditional tale. Orpheus goes to the underworld to try to return Eurydice to the world of the living and must perform for Hades and Persephone. Hades lets them go but Orpheus must led Eurydice out of the underworld without turning around, but at the last second he turns around.

I have been listening to the Off Broadway Album for a while. I just love the passion in the voices of the casts. This is one of my favorite current musicals because I love mythical retellings. Here are some YA books I choose as read alikes.

If You Like Hadestown

Mythology

Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebelle-Henry

Raya is in love with her best friend Sarah, but when they are caught together they are sent to a re-education camp. Raya decides to change the world and become Orpheus and save her Eurydice.

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Hades is seeking a new bride and he believes Kate fits the job description. Kate agrees to spend six months being tested to be his new goddess and helps save her mother from death. Kate learns that Hades has secrets and that not everything is what it seems.

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Cassandra is caught in a war between the gods who are dying out. Athena and Hermes  found her after searching for her for a year, but they do not know that someone else has been watching and guarding her for year.

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi

Kahina is one of the Huntresses of Artemis and she is assigned to protect Atalanta from being trapped into marriage. The two form a connection, but men from their pasts appear and threaten everything.

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

Aurora and the Narrator grow up together and have a deep connection,  but it is strained when a musician called Jack comes between them. Jack has awakened an ancient evil with his music that they will all have to face.

A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond

Claire is Ella’s best friend and suddenly feels left out when Ella falls in love with Orpheus. Claire soon finds out that Ella has died and Orpheus is broken hearted and something must be done to bring Ella back.

Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Odilia and her sister find a man’s dead body in the swimming hole and they realize it is their destiny to reunite him with his family.

Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Cory is born with the mythical furies in her head. By day, she is a normal teen but by night she hunts down those who have earned the furies’ wraith.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Roza, who is young and beautiful is missing and people hardly notice. Roza was with Finn when she was kidnapped and he cannot remember the kidnaper’s face. Finn does not understand why people are not concerned about where Roza went, even his brother, Sean.

Solstice by P.J. Hoover

Piper’s mother is very overprotective and the heating crisis is making it even worse.  The world keeps getting hotter and hotter as Piper realizes those myths she learned in school might be real and she has a part to play.

The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle

Sisters, Kate and Emily, have just moved to Hallow Hill where they meet Marak, a powerful magician and the King of the Goblins, who wants to claim Kate as his bride, but first Marak and Kate must work together to save the goblins of Hallow Hill.

The Great Depression

Dust Girl (The American Fairy, #1) by Sarah Zettel

Callie is living in the dustbowl state of Kansas and her mother has been keeping a secret from her, not only is she mixed race, she is also part fairy. She must avoid the dangers of the fairies that want to steal her from the world.

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez

Naomi and Wash live in New London, Texas during the time of deep segregation. Life is hard and people are trying to get by during the Great Depression, but a horrible event looms on the horizon.

Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

Mosco’s Traveling Wonder Show, a menagerie of human curiosities has one unusual person. Portia appears to be completely normal, but she has a secret. She is on the run trying to find out more about where her father disappeared.

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

Love and Death are always playing a game seeing which of them is more powerful and now there are new players. Flora, an African American girl, who dreams of being a pilot finds herself  falling for Henry, a wealthy adopted socialite, and they turn each other lives upside-down.

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

One story from the future and two from the past come together to show a family going through post WWI era, the Great Depression and then the future.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Cassie’s family are scared that the Klan will come for them and also ruin their land after Cassie and a white girl in town have issues.

All the Stars Denied by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Estrella and her father speak up at a town meeting, but soon her family is deported to Mexico and they are separated from her father and must try to find him.

What to Read if You Like The Prom, The Musical, a guest post by Teen Librarian Maisie

In case you haven’t heard, we’re talking about Broadway musicals this week at TLT and today we have a list of YA books you might like to read if you like The Prom, the musical.

The Prom is the latest Broadway show to get the YA novel treatment! The musical follows Emma, a lesbian teen growing up in a conservative town in Indiana. All Emma wants is to take a girl to the prom, but when the PTA catches wind of this, they cancel it. Help comes for Emma’s cause comes from the most unexpected of places—a group of slightly washed up Broadway actors who want to tie their brand to a cause to prove their relevance. Comedy, first heartbreak, and some big voiced classic Broadway style show tunes ensue!

This musical certainly didn’t get as big as others, but it has a solid cult following, especially of LGBTQ+ teens. Read-a-likes for this title focus on the prom as a setting, promposals and their inherent drama, and LGBTQ+ romances! Check the list out below:

The Prom: A Novel Based on the Hit Broadway Musical by Saundra Mitchell

Seventeen-year-old Emma Nolan wants only one thing before she graduates: to dance with her girlfriend at the senior prom. But in her small town of Edgewater, Indiana, that’s like asking for the moon. Alyssa Greene is her high school’s “it” girl: popular, head of the student council, and daughter of the PTA president. She also has a secret. She’s been dating Emma for the last year and a half. When word gets out that Emma plans to bring a girl as her date, it stirs a community-wide uproar that spirals out of control. Now, the PTA, led by Alyssa’s mother, is threatening to cancel the prom altogether.

Enter Barry Glickman and Dee Dee Allen, two Broadway has-beens who see Emma’s story as the perfect opportunity to restore their place in the limelight. But when they arrive in Indiana to fight on Emma’s behalf, their good intentions go quickly south. Between Emma facing the fray head-on, Alyssa wavering about coming out, and Barry and Dee Dee basking in all the attention, it’s the perfect prom storm. Only when this unlikely group comes together do they realize that love is always worth fighting for. 

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

High school junior Leila’s Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates at Armstead Academy, and if word got out that she liked girls life would be twice as hard, but when a new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual, so she struggles to sort out her growing feelings by confiding in her old friends.

How  (not) to Ask a Boy to Prom by S.J. Goslee

Nolan Grant is sixteen, gay, and very, very single. He’s never had a boyfriend, or even been kissed. It’s not like Penn Valley is exactly brimming with prospects. Unfortunately for him, his adoptive big sister has other ideas. Ideas that involve too-tight pants, a baggie full of purple glitter, and worst of all: a Junior-Senior prom ticket.

 Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom by Emily Franklin 

Feeling humiliated and confused when his best friend Tessa rejects his love and reveals a long-held secret , high school senior Luke must decide if he should stand by Tessa when she invites a female date to the prom, sparking a firestorm of controversy in their small Indiana town.

Leah On the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

The sequel to Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda, this book follows his best friend Leah.  With prom and graduation around the corner, bisexual and plus-sized senior Leah Burke struggles when her group of friends start fighting.

Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way: She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog. Her crush already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after. Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick. And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland-ever-unless she can find a way to stop it from closing. 

Kings, Queens, and In-betweens by Tanya Boteju

After a bewildering encounter at a local festival, Nima finds herself suddenly immersed in the drag scene on the other side of town. Macho drag kings, magical queens, new love interests, and surprising allies propel Nima both painfully and hilariously closer to a self she never knew she could be— one that can confidently express and accept love.

Social Intercourse by Greg Howard

Told from both viewpoints, Beckett Gaines, an out-and-proud choir member, and star quarterback Jaxon Parker team up to derail the budding romance between their parents.

A Really Nice Prom Mess by Brian Sloan

Gay high school senior Cameron Hayes endures a disastrous prom night when forced to take a girl as his date, and after fleeing the dance in disguise, he finds himself involved in a surprising on-stage performance, a high-speed police chase, and unexpected revelations.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Paul’s simple high-school life is confused by his desire for another boy who seems unattainable, until Paul’s friends help him find the courage to pursue the object of his affections.

It’s Our Prom (So Deal With It) by Julie Anne Peters

Told in separate voices, Azure, who is a lesbian, and Luke, who is bisexual, help plan an inclusive senior prom while Luke is writing and producing a musical about his life, both are working through the crush they have on their friend Radhika, and all three are dealing with problems at home.

Promposal by Rhonda Helms

Camilla hopes her secret crush, Benjamin, might ask her to prom but feels pressured into accepting the invitation of a casual acquaintance, and Joshua has worked up the courage to ask his best friend, Ethan, to be his date when Ethan asks his help in crafting the perfect “promposal” for another boy.

Meet Our Guest Blogger

Maisie is a teen librarian for the White Oak Library District who loves musicals, bogs, and Diana Wynne Jones novels. They live with two fat cats and way too many plants. 

What to Read if You Like the Musical Dear Evan Hansen, by Nicholas Mitchel

Broadway week continues with a list of YA reads that fans of the musical Dear Evan Hansen may like.

“You will be found” is the foundation that the musical Dear Evan Hansen is built on, holding out a hand to anyone that feels like the world is collapsing in around them. It is a show that explores heartbreaking circumstances but also tells an uplifting story of healing and connection. I was instantly drawn to this show from my own experiences and feel that many people may have also had feelings similar to Evan’s but never felt like they could voice them. This is a musical that connects to that and to let you know that you aren’t alone. 

This great read-alike list was created by and graciously shared with us all by Nicholas Mitchel, a teen librarian at White Oak Library-Crest Hill Branch.

What to Read if You Like Mean Girls the Musical, by Cindy Shutts

Our look at all things Broadway inspired continues today with a list of books you may like to read if you like Mean Girls, the musical. This list was prepared by regular TLT contributor Cindy Shutts.

This is a cautionary tale
about corruption and betrayal!” Janis and Damian.

The musical Mean Girls is based on the movie of the same name. Cady Heron moves to a suburb of Chicago from Kenya where her parents are scientists. Her world changes as she is thrust in to the world of popular teens and realizes this world can be dangerous. She at first befriends outsiders, Damien and Janis, but then the means girls pick her to join them. Cady at first is excited to have friends and be popular, but she very quickly realizes that the queen bee Regina George can make her or break her and Cady will take her down first.

The musical is a great take on the classic teen film. The soundtrack is available for purchase wherever you buy you music or streaming. It will start touring around the United States this fall. I am hoping to see it when it comes to Chicago that is near where I live.  If you like the movie and you have the chance to see it I would recommend it. The soundtrack is great!

So You Love Mean Girls, Here Are Some Fetch Books!

Mean Girls by Micol Ostow

Cady lived in Africa with her parents who are scientists, but now is moving to America to attend high school and has no idea what to expect. She is sucked into the world of the popular girls and very quickly realizes the head mean girl Regina George has the power to crush her.  Cady decides to bring her down first.

Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman

Charlie is sick of dealing with the popular kids, but when her former best friend moves back to town and he becomes popular she  realizes she is being pulling into the drama and does not know what to do.

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Four popular girls are pulled into a mystery after their former friend Alison has been missing for three years. They are receiving notes from someone who clearly knows a lot about them and their dark secrets and they wonder could Alison be alive after all this time?

The List by Siobhan Vivian

Every year at school the hottest girls and ugliest girl at school are ranked by a list that appears anonymously. The girls on this list are left to deal with the consequences.

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Mary, Kat and Lillia all have someone they want to take down, but they will have to work together to achieve their goals.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Five students walk into detention and only four walk out. The fifth student was Simon, who had a peanut allergy and was murdered. They will have to find out who the killer is because they all had secrets to hide.

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

The year is 2118 and there is a large thousand floor building in New York. Avery lives on the 1000th floor and everyone thinks she is perfect but she has secrets of her own.

The Takedown by Corrie Wang

Kyla Cheng is on her way to being valedictorian and now she is at the top of her school class, but then someone appears to be trying to ruin her life.  She is going to work on finding out who she has hurt and betrayed in her years of being a mean girl.

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Gigi, Bette, and June are top students at their fancy ballet school in New York. These three dancers have worked hard to be at the top of their class and did what they needed to reach their goals.