Musical Youth

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1final_caribbean_logo** Award winning title ** 2nd place in the 2014 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature sponsored by CODE.

** Featured in Essence Magazine February 2016. **

** #12 in Amazon Hot New Releases – Teen and Young Adult Performing Arts Fiction – in its first month of release. **

Musical Youth The Author
The Buzz More Info

Music, Discovery, Love. Can one summer make the difference of a lifetime?

Zahara is a loner. She’s brilliant on the guitar but in everyday life she doesn’t really fit in. Then she meets Shaka, himself a musical genius and the first boy who really gets her. They discover that they share a special bond, their passion for music, and Zahara finds herself a part, not just of Shaka’s life, but also that of his boys, the Lion Crew.

When they all get roles in a summer musical, Zahara, Shaka, and the rest of the Lion Crew use the opportunity to work on a secret project. But the Crew gets much more than they bargained for when they uncover a dark secret linking Shaka and Zahara’s families and they’re forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about class, colour, and relationships on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

Read an extract.

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The Buzz about Musical Youth
** “There are no missteps in this tender coming-of-age romance, only an enthusiasm for love and life that reverberates triumphantly, as both Shaka and Zahara battle their demons with hope’s persistent chorus.-CaribbeanBeat Magazine.

“** Musical Youth is a beautifully crafted novel with the leitmotiv of music running throughout it. This is a powerful and credible story of young love between two likeable heroes.-Burt Award for Caribbean literature.

** Musical Youth is a compelling read because Hillhouse has managed to make readers really care about the characters and their struggles.-Trinidad Guardian.

More Reviews

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About the Author

Musical Youth‘s author, Joanne C. Hillhouse is the Antiguan and Barbudan author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Fish Outta Water, and Oh Gad! Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in various international journals and anthologies. Joanne lives in Antigua and from there she freelances across borders as a writer, editor, and writing coach; and runs the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize writing programme to nurture and showcase the literary arts. Read more about Joanne’s work at and

Cover Illustration by Antiguan and Barbudan artist Glenroy Aaron.

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Other Posts about Musical Youth
Excerpts of Musical Youth on BookEnds Jamaica

Author Joanne C. Hillhouse on School Tour, February 2015

Author Joanne C. Hillhouse receives the Leonard “Tim” Hector Memorial Award

Zahara like Sahara – meet Musical Youth’s main characters

ABC News interview with author Joanne C. Hillhouse

Interview on the Whimsical Project, the Art and Literary Blog of M.J. Fievre

Feature in Guyanese Publication on Burt Award Books donated by CODE on Page 3

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5 Responses to Musical Youth

  1. Pascal Joseph

    Congratulations, Joanne!

  2. Diane Browne

    Love the cover. Looking forward to reading the book.
    Diane Browne

  3. Congratulations Joanne,

    Please send The Caribbean Writer a copy. We would love to review Musical Youth.

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