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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bookworm Buzz

Dear Reader,
The Sweethearts of Rhythm, by Marilyn Nelson, and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, tells the story of the all girl inter-racial swing band of the 1940s. I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! Liv and I were looking for a book about famous female trombone players (Liv plays the trombone) and discovered this picture book. The story opens in a pawn shop in New Orleans, LA on the eve of Hurricane Katrina. The instruments begin to talk to each other after the owner locks the door for the night, and soon realize that they were all part of the same swing band during World War II. Each instrument tells the story of its owner in the form of a poem. Each poem is titled after a jazz or swing standard. All of the poems, when linked together, tell the history of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, and the issues they faced as an inter-racial group prior to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. At the end of the book, dawn is approaching, and the instruments begin playing a tune together as Hurricane Katrina arrives on their doorstep. This was a very moving tribute to a little known aspect of American History. Here is a clip of the band performing. Read this with a parent, they won't want to pass this one up!
Read on, readers!
Mrs. W

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