The best dance music books

Many authors have picked their favorite books about dance music and why they recommend each book.

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Drum Dream Girl

By Margarita Engle, Rafael López (illustrator),

Book cover of Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

This rhythmic book will take you on a magic drum trip with this Chinese-African-Cuban girl, who broke the taboo of girls not being allowed to play drums. This is a poem song filled with rhythmic words, sounds, and heart. Beautiful words, beautiful art,  gorgeous story. I hope after reading it, you'll feel inspired to dance and to dream. I danced around the house, then I sat down and wrote beautiful stories and dreams. 


Who am I?

Ana Siqueira is a Spanish-language elementary teacher, an award-winning Brazilian children’s author, and a published author in the Foreign Language educational market. Her debut picture book is Bella’s Recipe for Disaster/Success (Beaming Books, 2021), Her forthcoming books are If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja/ Cuando Tu Niñera Es Una Bruja (SimonKids, 2022), Abuela’s Super Capa/La Super Capa De Abuela (HarperCollins 2023) - two-book deal auction, Room in Mami’s Corazon (HarperCollins 2024) and some others that can’t be announced yet. Ana is a member of SCBWI, Las Musas Books, and co-founder of LatinxPitch. You can learn more about Ana, by following her.


I wrote...

Bella's Recipe for Success

By Ana Siqueira, Geraldine Rodríguez (illustrator),

Book cover of Bella's Recipe for Success

What is my book about?

Bella wants to find out what she's good at. But she quits everything she (barely) tries because she's a disaster at it. Her somersaults are like clumsy jirafas rolling downhill, her piano playing like elephant feet. When she decides to learn how to bake with her wise old abuela, her first attempt at dulce de leche frosting looks like scaly cocodrilo skin. She must learn it's okay to try again or she won't be good at anything. Peppered with Spanish vocabulary and set in an intergenerational Latinx home, Bella's Recipe for Success will show all kids the value of practicing to learn a new skill, and that it's okay to make mistakes along the way.

Swing

By Lindsey Renee Backen,

Book cover of Swing

The characters really stand out. Trey is easy to love and you root for him right away with plenty of dance scenes that put swing dance center stage. Backen makes use of era music, citing big bands with a good amount of vintage fashion description, shoes, too! Although I guessed at most of the plot points, I love having my suspicions confirmed. Still, there were some nice twists along the way. I loved the soda shop setting and the barn, both exuding their own romance. Last but not least, I loved that the MC wasn’t the stereotypical hunk (short guys are the best to dance with–trust me).


Who am I?

I write cross-genre fiction with a pen in one hand and a vintage cocktail in the other, filling the romantic void, writing novels when my husband deployed. When in port, we taught swing dancing and have been avid collectors of vintage sewing patterns, retro clothing, and antiques. All of which make appearances in my stories. I’ve always been fascinated with the paranormal and have had some unexplained experiences, some of those made their way into my stories as well. I live in a 1908 home in Texas that may or may not be haunted. I have book reviews, vintage lifestyle tips, recipes, interviews, giveaways, and games on my site!


I wrote...

The Flapper Affair: A 1920s Time Travel Murder Mystery Paranormal Romance

By Tam Francis,

Book cover of The Flapper Affair: A 1920s Time Travel Murder Mystery Paranormal Romance

What is my book about?

Fashion, Passion, Hot Jazz & Murder: Meet Eduard Hall, an odd young man who just happens to fall in love with Mia Waverly, a beautiful ghost from the famous Waverly family, brutally murdered seventy years ago. Though her body was never found. With time running out and through extraordinary forces, they travel back in time to the night of the murders, setting off a chain of events that will change everything. If they can solve the mystery, they may save her and her family, but lose each other forever.

The Flapper Affair is the story of two young lovers crossed by time, space, and an unsolved murder.

Slow Dance

By Bonnie S. Klein,

Book cover of Slow Dance: A Story of Stroke, Love and Disability

This memoir touched on all the feelings and struggles young stroke survivors experience and how love made the journey endurable. I related to much of her story, but I was more thankful than her. She writes about the inaccessibility of structures, and the ignorance society has about the disabled. All of this is true, but I was so grateful to be alive and free from being locked in; inaccessibility issues had no place in my memoir.


Who am I?

The five recommended nonfiction books on my list profoundly affected my life in my time of need. I struggled when a minor accident led to a brainstem stroke and being locked in at 45. How would I find happiness now? How can I go on? These five books gave me the strength to work hard, accept what couldn’t be improved, and be grateful for each day of good health. I hope the recommended books will help you prepare for the day your life will change...and it will.


I wrote...

Locked In Locked Out: Surviving a Brainstem Stroke

By Shawn Jennings,

Book cover of Locked In Locked Out: Surviving a Brainstem Stroke

What is my book about?

After Dr. Shawn Jennings, a busy family physician suffered a brainstem stroke on May 13, 1999, he woke from a coma locked inside his body, aware and alert but unable to communicate or move. Once he regained limited movement in his left arm, he began typing his story, using one hand and much patience. 

With unexpected humour and tender honesty, Shawn shares his experiences in his struggle for recovery and acceptance of his life after the stroke. He affirms that life is still worth it even without achieving a full recovery.

Bared Souls

By Ellie Wade,

Book cover of Bared Souls

Bared Souls is a unique story with interesting characters and a beautiful and tragic love story that pulls on your emotions and heartstrings. It makes you see love in a different way and takes on a topic that is hard to overcome for some. Even leading to death. Bared Souls sucks you in and will have you flipping the pages until the very end.


Who am I?

Everyone wants to find romance. Some of us find it within the pages—or more than once. I also think romance gets a bad rap, but I for one love to fall in love repeatedly. It doesn’t matter if they’re fictional because when you read a story; you get lost in their world, as though you’re their friend, too. That is what I strive for when I write my characters. I write them as someone you could go out for a drink with and just have a good time. However, most of my characters experience life or death situations, but that just makes them stronger in the end, especially when I base them on my real-life experiences like in Tattooed Dots.


I wrote...

Tattooed Dots

By Kimberly Knight,

Book cover of Tattooed Dots

What is my book about?

Easton Crawford put his modeling career before his marriage until it was ending in divorce. Years later, he is finally learning how to be the father his daughter needs him to be. He’s not looking for someone to step into the mother role—just nightly casual hook-ups. When his best friend convinces him that a good way to meet single women is to go on a singles cruise, he finds more than just a one-night stand.

At age thirteen, Brooke Bradley became an adult, raising her younger sister while her mother continually ignored her parenting responsibilities. Since then, Brooke has continued to take care of the people in her life, including her deadbeat boyfriend, Jared. For Brooke’s thirtieth birthday, her best friend surprises her with a cruise but fails to mention it’s a singles cruise. When Brooke meets Easton, the one man willing to be her constant, will she finally find the courage to leave Jared? 

Sunrise Dance

By Serena Gingold Allen, Teagan White (illustrator),

Book cover of Sunrise Dance

A companion book to Moonlight Prance, this interactive lift-the-flap book will entertain young readers as they read along during a sunrise dance in a meadow, and all the animals that come and join the fun. Kids will love making the animals dance along by moving the flaps, plus it’s short enough for when you need that super quick read before a late bedtime.


Who am I?

As a mom of young kids who love animals, I know firsthand the benefit of finding fun books that are also easy to read, fun to look at, and short enough not to make you flinch when your kids pull them off the shelves during those later bedtime nights.


I wrote...

Dream Flights on Arctic Nights

By Brooke Hartman, Evon Zerbetz (illustrator),

Book cover of Dream Flights on Arctic Nights

What is my book about?

At night, just as the moon climbs high, I make a wish that I could fly.

Follow a child’s dreamy flight across the Arctic and discover the animals that live there, from wolves prowling through the snow, to goats and sheep leaping across mountains, to walrus and sea lions lying on icebergs. Told in singsong rhymes and colorfully illustrated with gorgeous linocut art, Dream Flights on Arctic Nights is a beautiful bedtime story for children to explore the Arctic before drifting off to sleep.

Let Us Dance! The Stumble And Whirl With The Beloved

By Chelan Harkin,

Book cover of Let Us Dance! The Stumble And Whirl With The Beloved

This young woman is profoundly wise beyond her years. In a style reminiscent of the poetry of the mystics Rumi and Hafiz from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Harkin gives voice to the deep feminine as she is emerging into modern consciousness. This is poetry to touch your heart and quicken your inner feminine. Full disclosure: I was honored to write the forward to this beautifully written book.


Who am I?

I’m a clinical psychologist who has specialized in women’s issues and disordered eating for over thirty years. Born on the island of Guam, I was raised in a matriarchal and multicultural household where storytelling was a means of transmitting important concepts, traditions, and values, and was a way to experience meaningful and joyful connections with others. Because I was raised by strong women and my indigenous ancestors were Chamorro, a matrilineal culture that honored the motherline, I have always been interested in the archetypal feminine rooted in these stories, although I didn’t discover the term until I began to study psychology.


I wrote...

Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling

By Anita Johnston,

Book cover of Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling

What is my book about?

My book is about how the dismissal, denial, devaluation, and degradation of the feminine principle within our culture and within our psyches has contributed to the epidemic of women who struggle with negative body image and disordered eating. It uses fairytales and folktales from around the world and the archetypal feminine embedded in them to explain the deeper issues that underlie the struggle with food and body image.

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