The 2018 Collaborative Summer Library Program theme is Libraries Rock! Here are ROW titles to for reading, listening, singing, dancing and more!
Rock & Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story by Sebastian Robertson. Illustrated by Adam Gustavson. Henry Holt, 2014
Robbie Robertson’s rise to fame as a founding member of The Band, and writer of some of the iconic songs of the late 1960s and early 1970s, is chronicled by his son Sebastian in a substantial and engaging picture book biography. From the time he was a young child visiting his Mohawk relatives on the Six Nations Reservation in Canada, Robertson was immersed in “rhythm, melodies, and storytelling.” And from the time he got his first guitar, he spent hours practicing. “On the reservation, eleven-year-old Robbie had surpassed the adults as the best guitarist.” He formed his first band at thirteen, and at sixteen was off to Arkansas to join a Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks. He continued to practice, refine, and develop his playing style, coming up with a unique sound that drew the attention of Bob Dylan, and helped pave the way for folk music going electric. The narrative creates both a sweeping picture of Robertson’s influence and accomplishments with small moments and details that marked defining moments in his career and, sometimes, rock & roll. The volume is further enriched by a timeline with photographs, and Sebastian’s terrific q-and-a interview with his father. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny) by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer. Illustrated by Stacey Innerst. Harcourt, 2013.
An energetic, entertaining narrative about the Fab Four follows the group from its early days to the heights of Beatlemania, with an emphasis on their quirky humor and love of music-making, and how fame affected it all. Among the tidbits engagingly recounted: “When they wrote ‘She Loves You,’ Paul’s father begged them to change its ‘yeah, yeah yeah’ line to a more proper ‘yes, yes, yes,’ but Paul laughed the idea off with a ‘no, no no.’” In interviews, they moved easily from self-deprecation to droll humor to dry wit. Eventually, the ever-growing legions of fans turned into screaming hordes, going from something the band found funny to something that eventually became alarming. It was one of a number of things that marked the beginning of the end of Beatlemania, but young readers can feel a bit of the excitement in this animated account accompanied by pitch-perfect illustrations. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Little, Brown, 2011
This novel set primarily in 1937 builds to the historic boxing match between Joe Louis and James Braddock when Louis became Heavyweight champion. But its focus is three African American kids in interconnecting stories. Hibernia is a talented singer who dreams of stardom; Otis was recently orphaned; and Willie fled his home to escape an abusive father. Otis and Willie meet at the Mercy Home for Orphaned Negroes. Hibernia meets them both when her church youth choir performs at the home. Hibernia’s mother abandoned her family to pursue her own dreams of stardom when Hibernia was a baby; now Hibernia’s strict preacher father is unsupportive of her desire to sing professionally but she’s determined to grab any chance she gets. Otis’s father gave him the radio he treasures after finally finding a job; not long after both of Otis’s parents were killed in a car accident. Willie’s mother sent him to Mercy after his father severely burned the boy’s hands; she knew she could no longer protect her son. The two boys draw strength from their friendship—a circle that expands to include Hibernia—and all three, like the larger Black community, draw strength from the hope and promise that Joe Louis represents. Pinkney’s engaging narrative is full of vivid details of the Depression era, graced by lively language, and buoyed by a sense of hope and promise represented in her three main characters and the vibrant community of which they are a part. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center