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.
"This exquisite collection of poems and paintings celebrates the history and culture of blues music."—School Library Journal, starred review
"In this visceral collaboration, Adoff and Christie honor the enduring legacy of blues music . . .This is a challenging, open-hearted collection with images and poems that bleed into one another, but also stand powerfully alone."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"An incandescent, important work."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Christie provides arresting and soul-stirring paintings that echo the poems here and add texture and harmony there, but Adoff’s poems are themselves things to be savored visually as well as out loud."—Booklist, starred review
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