Rita Williams-Garcia is going to go down as one of the finest writers for young people of all time. Her talent is incredible. The Gaither Sisters are among the best characters in children's literature. If, after reading this awesome historical/period fiction series, you need anymore proof of that, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground is sure to make you see that I am right. I count her right up there with the greats for being able to take a reader back in time, and/or into a character's mind and world, all of that which makes a book a magical trip, you know? Like Christopher Paul Curtis, like Katherine Paterson, like Gary Paulsen, like Madeleine L'Engle.
I don't know much about the Blues. I wish I did. This novel and my recent trip to New Orleans were I heard some great street blues bands, makes me want to know more. Here is a great website that helped me understand the difference between blues and jazz music! The novel begins in Washington Square Park where Clayton is playing blues with his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd and Papa Byrd's friends in a blues band called the Bluesmen. A lot of the book takes place in the subway system of NYC. Just a great, great book.
What's Going On Here?
There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.