Books about jazz for young readers, 2014

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Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band
Kwame Alexander

E ALEXANDER

Acoustic Rooster forms a jazz band with Duck Ellington, Bee Holliday, and Pepe Ernesto Cruz to compete in the annual Barnyard Talent Show against such greats as Thelonius Steer, Mules Davis, and Ella Finchgerald.


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I Am Mixed
Garcelle Beauvais,Sebastian A. Jones

E BEAUVAIS

Jay and Nia are the children of two worlds, and as they’ll discover, they can enjoy the best of both, from Mommy’s jazz beats to Daddy’s classical piano.


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Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite
Anna Harwell Celenza

MUSIC JNF CEL

Tells the story of how jazz composer and musician Duke Ellington, along with Billy Strayhorn, created his jazz composition based on Tchaikovsky’s famous Nutcracker Suite ballet.


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Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage As the First Black-and-white Jazz Band in History
Lesa Cline-Ransome

BIOGRAPHY JNF CLI

Celebrates the 1936 debut of the Benny Goodman quartet with Teddy Wilson in Chicago, considered to be the first widely seen integrated jazz performance.


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This Jazz Man
Karen Ehrhardt

E EHRHARDT

Presents an introduction to jazz music and nine well-known jazz musicians, set to the rhythm of the traditional song, “This Old Man.” Includes brief facts about each musician.


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Herman and Rosie
Gus Gordon

E GORDON

In New York City, a “groovy little jazz number” brings together a lonely crocodile and deer.


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Bat and Rat
Patrick Jennings

E JENNINGS

One night at the Hotel Midnight, the lyrics written and sung by jazz musician Rat are those inspired by his friendship with Bat, who plays the piano and writes the tunes.


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Theo and the Blue Note
Peter Kuper

E KUPER

Theo the cat has learned to play only one blue note on his saxophone, but when a magical rocket ship carries him to the moon, he joins Charlie Porker, Nat King Cobra, Duck Ellington, and other great jazz musicians in a jam session.


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Jazz
Walter Dean Myers

JE MYERS

A collection of poetry celebrates this uniquely American music and its many colorful players throughout its history.


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Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald
Roxane Orgill

BIOGRAPHY JNF FITZGERALD

Follows the beloved American jazz singer’s rise to fame, describing the difficult historical and cultural factors that she overcame.


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Bebop Express
H. L. Panahi

E PANAHI

A rollicking rhythmic express train takes passengers on a jazzy journey that celebrates the United States and its unique musical culture.


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The Cosmobiography of Sun Ra: The Sound of Joy Is Enlightening
Chris Raschka

BIOGRAPHY JNF SUN RA

A one-hundredth birthday tribute to the late jazz artist explores his observations about humanity’s discriminatory and violent behaviors as well as his efforts to forge world peace through music with the Sun Ra Arkestra.


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The Deaf Musicians
Pete Seeger,Paul Dubois Jacobs

E SEEGER

Lee, a jazz pianist, has to leave his band when he begins losing his hearing, but he meets a deaf saxophone player in a sign language class and together they form a snazzy new band.


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Sugar Hill: Harlem's Historic Neighborhood
Carole Boston Weatherford

PLACES US NY JNF WEA

Rhyming text celebrates the Harlem neighborhood that successful African Americans first called home during the 1920s.


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When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat
Muriel Harris Weinstein

E WEINSTEIN

After dancing to music on the radio before she goes to bed, a young girl learns how to sing scat when Louis Armstrong comes to her in a dream.


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Jazz Baby
Lisa Wheeler

E WHEELER

With a clap of his tiny hands and tap of his teeny feet, a musically-inclined baby inspires his finger-snapping sister, scat-singing granny, soft-shoe dancing uncle and the rest of his loving family to get in on the fun!


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Jazz Age Josephine: Dancer, singer--who's that, who? Why, that's MISS Josephine Baker, to you!
Jonah Winter

E WINTER

A tribute to the life of the iconic jazz entertainer depicts her disadvantaged youth in a segregated America, her unique performance talents and the irrepressible sense of style that helped her overcome racial barriers.


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