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by Walter Dean Myers
Illustrated by Christopher Myers

Published by Holiday House, 2006
44 pages
ISBN: 0-8234-1545-7

Age 10 and older

Podcast featuring this book

Following a lively, informative introduction that offers an explanation and brief history of jazz, Walter Dean Myers offers fifteen poems that bring the music to life in a fusion of rhythm and words. “What did the world see? / What did the world hear? / Black men sweating in 4/4 time / Behind the beat, around the beat, / Bending the in-between” (from “America’s Music”). The poems reference the roots of the music as well many forms of musical expression embodied in the idea of jazz. Slow, sultry, upbeat, driving, the mood and pace of each poem shifts to reflect a new or different truth about jazz. The same is true of Christopher Myers’s expressive, deeply felt paintings, that are both accompaniment and stage for the words.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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