A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Not only does this biography give a detailed account of an important figure in folk music, but it also leads the reader through many of the pivotal moments and movements in American history, from organized labor and unionization efforts during the Depression, to World War II and the Cold War, up through the civil rights movement and the struggle for environmental justice and preservation.
As the final words of the book put it, "His life stands as a testament for social and political change, reminding everyone to fight for what they believe in and to let their voices be heard." As Pete himself is quoted, "When you sing, you feel, I'm not alone."
Positive Role Models
Seeger's lifelong dedication to social justice and his belief in the power of music to bring people together in harmony and shared compassion is inspirational in its purity and simplicity.
Violence & Scariness
There's a brief description of a violent encounter with an angry mob who pelted Pete's car with rocks when he was widely hated as a suspected Communist.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger is an uplifting biography of the "father of American folk music" that chronicles his singular career as a performer, songwriter, and activist. Tailored to a middle school audience who may not be familiar with Seeger's inspirational story and iconic work, the book takes readers on a journey through 20th-century American history and the role folk music played as the soundtrack of social justice movements.
Is It Any Good?
Pete Seeger's life and music represent the very best of what America has to offer, and his consistent dedication to virtuous ideals and the struggles of common people was truly remarkable. Children's book expert and author Anita Silvey's biography is rich in detail and full of excellent historical information, anecdotes, and archival photographs, though some of the writing is slightly clunky.
Because Seeger did not retain the fame and notoriety that he deserved, many people, especially of younger generations, might not know of his incredible story, though surely they may be familiar with some of his songs and many of the folk singers he inspired and influenced, including Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, and others. Let Your Voice Be Heard does the important work of sharing Pete's legacy and message with the next generation, who may be inspired to look up his music and pick up where he left off when he passed away in 2014.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.