DVD Cover of Turning Red the movie

Love Turning Red? Check Out These Reads!

| Burlington County Library

Turning Red is a stellar coming-of-age film with themes of friendship and being true to yourself. And sometimes, when we come across a movie this enjoyable, we crave more stories that evoke similar feelings. So, here’s a list of reading recommendations from your library!

Front Desk Book Cover by Kelly Wang

One of the major themes of Turning Red is Mei’s coming-of-age and forging her own path. For those who really loved that about the movie, you should meet Mia Tang of Kelly Yang’s Front Desk. In the first book of this middle-grade series, Mia is a fifth-grader who has a lot of responsibility helping her parents run a hotel. Both Turning Red’s director Domee Shi and Front Desk’s Kelly Yang take inspiration from their own lives to create rich, authentic stories. But while we may not have all grown up in Toronto or California, we can all understand how painful yet rewarding becoming our own person is. 

If you grew up during the 90s and aughts, it is impossible to have missed all the homages to Sailor Moon in Turning Red. So if you are in the mood to read about one of the original magical girls who had a talisman with the power of transformation, then you really need to read Sailor Moon. Like Mei, Usagi Tsukino has her friends to support her. (Though Usagi tends to devolve into tears rather than transform into a red panda!)

Jen Wang Stargazing Book Cover

Are graphic novels more your speed? Then check out Jen Wang’s Stargazing. This book shares multiple themes with Turning Red: friendship, the pressure to make your parents proud, and how music can connect us. For those who loved Abby and her intensity in Turning Red, you’ll also love Stargazing’s Moon!

If you are a music lover and couldn’t get enough of 4*Town, you’ll want to check out this next read! Barakah Beats tells the story of 12-year-old Pakistani American Nimra who joins a boy band. Like Turning Red, Barakah Beats will have your heart soaring as you watch the protagonist stay true to herself. 

Audience: Kids Teens
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