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by Jonah Winter
Illustrated by Sean Qualls

Published by Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2006
48 pages
ISBN: 0-439-50737-5

Ages 7-10

“This is the story of one real cool cat who must have been born with a horn in his hands . . . ” Readers of this picture book biography of Dizzy Gillespie quickly learn that there was no horn at Dizzy’s birth. His early childhood was hard-edged. He was beaten at home and beaten on the streets. But when he finally did pick up a trumpet, “He took all the anger he felt inside and blasted it out through the end of his horn . . . until he was ROARING. He was SOARING.” Jonah Winter’s inspired, remarkably in-depth writing chronicles Dizzy’s rise to the heights of the jazz world. He was a jokester and he was a visionary, ready to rewrite the rules of jazz, teaching other musicians to play “notes that no one had used yet.” Sean Qualls equally inspired art captures the chaos and emotions that inspired that inspired Dizzy, as well as the passion and energy of his music. (MS) ©2007 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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