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JOSEPHINE, THE DAZZLING LIFE OF JOSEPHINE BAKER

Author: Patricia Hruby Powell

Illustrator: Christian Robinson

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Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2014

Material: hard cover

Summary: Music called to Josephine Baker, and when it did, all she could do was dance. When she heard that there was an all-black show on Broadway, she left her husband and went to New York. But her success didn't change attitudes toward segregation. Then she went to Paris, where people said "black is beautiful." There, she became the star she had dreamed of as a girl. This is a biography of Josephine Baker told in verse.

Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 10 and Up

Interest Level: 8 to 13

Reading Level: 4.6

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: I have read this book three times already. By telling Josephine's story in verse, reader is drawn into a rhythm befitting of the music of her era (1920s, 1930s). The author does a wonderful job weaving in the social and cultural contexts of the time. There are nuggets that most of us didn't know or wouldn't have considered (international adoption), and they create openings for interesting conversation.

Pros: Beautiful verse and bright colors draw readers into a lyrical biography for readers of all ages.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a very enjoyable, fun read.

If You Liked This Book, Try: 100 AMERICAN WOMEN WHO SHAPED AMERICAN HISTORY   CORETTA SCOTT   PHILLIS WHEATLEY, YOUNG REVOLUTIONARY POET (Young Patriots Series)

Educational Themes: This is so much more than a biography. It is an opportunity to explore US history in the 1920s and 1930s, spying in World War II, and (best of all) pulling out the music of the era.

Notes: The publicist representing the author donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub® for review consideration because we provide an independent, unbiased profiles. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - biography, Black History, 1920s, 1930s, performing arts, stories in verse, poetry

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2014

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.




                 

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