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Roots and Blues: A Celebrationby Arnold Adoff
Synopses & Reviews
Through poems and poetic prose pieces, acclaimed children's author Arnold Adoff celebrates that uniquely American form of music called the blues. In his signature “shaped speech” style, he creates a narrative of moments and joyous music, from the drums of the ancestors, the red dirt of the plantations, the current of the mighty Mississippi, and the shackles, blood, and tears of slavery. Each chop of the ax is a beat, each lash of the whip fashions another line on the musical staff. But each sound also creates the chords and harmonies that preserve the ancestors and their stories, and sustain life, faith, and hope into our own times.
"In this visceral collaboration, Adoff and Christie honor the enduring legacy of blues music. Vibrant, haunting acrylic paintings portray crowded slave ships, chain gang labor, and the crackling energy of juke joints. Several poems titled 'Listening' capture the sounds of the decades in which they're set (the 'high-metal shuffle of chains between wrists') and mimic the rhythms and repetitions of the blues ('Singing vegetables for sale near Auction Square./ Silence under heavy snow one Kansas City winter./ Memphis waterfront noise and rush/ Saint Louis waterfront noise and rush'). This is a challenging, open-hearted collection with images and poems that bleed into one another, but also stand powerfully alone. Ages 8 — 12. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Through poems and poetic prose pieces, acclaimed children's author Adoff celebrates that uniquely American form of music called the blues. Full color.
About the Author
Arnold Adoff is the recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children for the body of his work. He lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio. To learn more, please visit www.arnoldadoff.com.
R. Gregory Christie is a Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winner and a Theodor Seuss Geisl Award recipient. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Please visit his website to learn more: www.gas-art.com.
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