A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Though the story mostly sticks to the singer's biography, the historical backdrop offers a window onto the development of gospel music and the Great Migration of southern African-Americans to northern urban centers such as Chicago. The final page contains a detailed time line of Mahalia's life and legacy, as well as online and library resources so kids can learn more about her.
Mahalia's steadfast dedication to singing only the music that moved her most -- spiritual music -- is shown to be what made her a unique and iconic figure in the progression of black American music.
Positive Role Models
Mahalia is presented as a resilient and hardworking talent who had to overcome the loss of her mother when she was a child, finding solace and meaning in honing her chosen craft of gospel music. She's also depicted as devoted to her Christian faith and heroic for resisting the temptation to sing for money in nightclubs.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens is a gorgeous, kid-friendly picture-book biography of one of gospel music's biggest stars. Working her way from a tragic childhood in New Orleans, to the churches of Chicago, to the top of the charts on Decca Records, Mahalia Jackson shows how talent, faith, and determination can help a person overcome adversity to obtain success and inspire others along the way.
Is It Any Good?
John Holyfield's warm and emotive acrylic paintings effectively pair with Nina Nolan's simple but elegant narration to tell a heartwarming story in a dynamic way. Mahalia's greatest legacy is, of course, her music, which sounds as raw and powerful today as it did a half century ago, when she helped establish a tradition of gospel music that continues to thrive to this day, providing the soundtrack to countless camp meetings and congregations.
This book is a wonderful portrayal of a musical icon and a great way to introduce kids to American roots music. Includes a chronology and online and library resources.
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