Books for fans of Hamilton: an American Musical, a guest post by Maisie
Today as part of our week dedicated to Broadway musicals, because why not, teen librarian Maisie shares with us a list of read-alikes for the hit musical Hamilton.
Hamilton: An American Musical, for those who don’t know, is a hip-hop musical that follows the life of Alexander Hamilton–you know, the founding father? It follows Hamilton from his arrival in the US to the end of his life, spanning the Revolutionary War, his marriage, and the founding of the United States. It has become a cultural touchstone and broke the record for the most Tony nominations in 2016! While I love the music, the humor, and the fact there are several songs that make me weep uncontrollably; my favorite part of this musical is I can talk to theater kids and non-theater kids about it at my library. Everyone loves Hamilton, and that’s pretty amazing!
But people love Hamilton for different reasons, so the read-a-likes below are broken into three categories: books for teens who loved Alexander Hamilton the person, books for teens who loved the hip-hop, and books for teens who loved this take on history. Find those suggestions below:
If you loved Alexander Hamilton the person:
Alex & Eliza : a Love Story by Melissa De la Cruz
When Alex and Eliza meet one fateful night, an epic love story begins that would forever change the course of American history. The first book of a recently finished trilogy!
Hamilton and Peggy! A Revolutionary Friendship by Laura Elliot
In the throes of the Revolutionary War, Peggy Schuyler finds herself a central figure amid Loyalists and Patriots, spies and traitors, friends and family. Among those friends, she develops a relationship with Alexander Hamilton, who becomes romantically involved with her sister, Eliza.
Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin Manuel Miranda
This book offers a behind-the-scenes view of Hamilton the musical, detailing the many dramatic episodes in Alexander Hamilton’s life.
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Though a longer adult biography, this is also the biography of Hamilton that inspired the musical and totally approachable for older teens!
Alexander Hamilton : the graphic history of an American founding father by Jonathan Henessey
This complete graphic novel-style biography presents the life and legacy of one of the most influential figures in United States history.
Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough
Complex, passionate, brilliant, flawed? Alexander Hamilton comes alive in Martha Brockenbrough’s exciting biography Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary, which is an essential read fans of Hamilton.
If you loved the hip-hop:
On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons.
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson
When a young black teen is murdered, his two best friends decide to keep his memory alive by promoting his music — rhymes that could turn any hangout into a party — with the help of his younger sister, Jasmine, who is out for justice. As the buzz builds, it forces Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine, to each confront the death in their own ways.
Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel
Rani Patel, almost seventeen and living on remote Moloka’i island, is oppressed by the cultural norms of her Gujarati immigrant parents but when Mark, an older man, draws her into new experiences red flags abound.
Spin by Lamar Giles
When DJ ParSec (Paris Secord), rising star of the local music scene, is found dead over her turntables, the two girls who found her are torn between grief for Paris and hatred for each other–but when the lack of obvious suspects stalls the investigation, and the police seem to lose interest, the two girls unite, determined to find out who murdered their friend.
After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
In the New York City borough of Queens in 1996, three girls bond over their shared love of Tupac Shakur’s music, as together they try to make sense of the unpredictable world in which they live.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, she discovers slam poetry, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers, especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.
If you loved the history…
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the nation. 1, The pox party by M.T. Anderson
Various diaries, letters, and other manuscripts chronicle the experiences of Octavian, a young African American, from birth to age sixteen, as he is brought up as part of a science experiment in the years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Henry “Monty” Montague was bred to be a gentleman. His passions for gambling halls and late nights spent with a bottle of spirits have earned the disapproval of his father. His quest for pleasures and vices have led to one last hurrah as Monty, his best friend and crush Percy, and Monty’s sister Felicity begin a Grand Tour of Europe. When a reckless decision turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything Monty knows.
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill
A fictionalized account, told in verse, of the Salem witch trials, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692–Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam, Jr.
My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand
You may think you know the story. Penniless orphan Jane Eyre begins a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester–and, Reader, she marries him. Or does she? Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems…
Fever, 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.
The Notorious Benedict Arnold : a True Story of Adventure, Heroism, and Treachery by Steve Sheinkin
Most people know that Benedict Arnold was America’s first, most notorious traitor. Few know that he was also one of its greatest war heroes. Packed with first-person accounts, astonishing battle scenes, and surprising twists, this is a gripping and true adventure tale.
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.
Filed under: Reader's Advisory
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
SLJ Blog Network