Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

Award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia's new book is out! As soon as I heard, I zipped over to my local public library and checked it out. The star of the book is Clayton Byrd, a young "blues harp"(harmonica) player who lives to play the blues with the Bluesmen. His grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, heads the group and is Clayton's mentor. He has taught Clayton everything he knows about blues music and about life.

Early in the story Cool Papa Byrd dies, leaving Clayton alone with his mother who forbids him from playing his beloved blues harp. Distraught over his grandfather's death and desperate to follow his dream to play with the Bluesmen, Clayton runs away and takes a ride on the New York City subway in hopes of finding them. Instead, Clayton finds out that while Cool Papa Byrd taught him a lot, life still has much to teach him.

I recommend this book to kids who have an interest in and appreciation for music. Because the setting is mainly the NYC subways, a little background knowledge of big city life will help with comprehension.

Mrs. N.

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