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
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.
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).
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