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A song to match everyone's heartbeat.


A soaring melody, a pulse-pounding beat, a touching lyric: Music takes a moment and makes it a memory. It’s a universal language that can capture love, heartbreak, loss, soul searching, and wing spreading—all in the span of a few notes. In Behind the Song, fourteen acclaimed young adult authors and musicians share short stories and personal essays inspired by the songs, the albums, the musicians who move them.


So cue up the playlist and crank the volume. This is an anthology you’ll want to experience on repeat.




"Authors of young adult books and musicians, such as Ellen Hopkins, Donn T., Beth Kephart, and James Howe, select their favorite songs and share inspirational, personal perspectives about ways that ‘music is the soundtrack of our lives’… . Behind the Song is a diverse collection that will appeal to multiple audiences. The content within the collection includes examples of narratives, science fiction, dystopias, drama, and paranormal. The wide spectrum of content allows readers to choose a genre that appeals to them.”

VOYA Magazine

“This anthology about music hits all the right notes… The 14 entries are sparked by a diverse group of artists, such as Bob Dylan, the Killers, Amy Winehouse, Oasis, and the Eagles. Readers will recognize some of the popular authors who contributed, such as Ellen Hopkins, Ellen Oh, David Arnold, and Elisa Ludwig. The pieces are about more than just the songs and reveal personal philosophies that will resonate even with readers unfamiliar with the music.”
School Library Journal
"This anthology of 14 stories and essays reveals the music and musicians that inspired YA authors and musicians. There are, of course, tales of loss, heartbreak, and romance, as well as sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll (Ellen Hopkins), bullying (David Arnold), and the aftermath of an apocalypse (Anthony Breznican). Jonathan Maberry’s particularly moving essay discusses how a Bob Dylan song helped him cope with an abusive childhood, while Beth Kephart writes about her childhood as a competitive skater, and how “Somewhere (There’s a Place for Us),” from the musical West Side Story, “makes displacement visible and gives hope hope.” Other contributors include Donn T, Ellen Oh, and Suzanne Young, with an introduction by singer-songwriter Ameriie. The musicians that inspire them run the gamut from Oasis to Amy Winehouse, Eagles to South Korean girl group 2NE1, and original compositions by James Howe and G. Love are included. Teens will relate to these stories and be inspired by the playlist, even if they are unfamiliar with some of the music."




Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (September 5, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1492638811
ISBN-13: 978-1492638810


In BEHIND THE SONG, edited by young adult author             K.M. Walton, comes a unique anthology of short fiction and personal essays exploring those questions from today’s top young adult authors and musicians.


Contributors include young adult authors Ellen Hopkins, James Howe, Jonathan Maberry, Suzanne Young, Ellen Oh, Beth Kephart, Anthony Breznican, Elisa Ludwig, Tiffany Schmidt, E.C. Myers, David Arnold, and K.M. Walton, along with contemporary musicians G. Love and Donn T, and an foreword by Grammy nominated musical artist, Ameriie.

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