Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Boston Weatherford

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Synopsis

Before the legend of Billie Holiday, there was a girl named Eleanora. In 1915, Sadie Fagan gave birth to a daughter she named Eleanora. The world, however, would know her as Billie Holiday, possibly the greatest jazz singer of all time. Eleanora's journey into legend took her through pain, poverty, and run-ins with the law. By the time she was fifteen, she knew she possessed something that could possibly change her life—a voice. Eleanora could sing. Her remarkable voice led her to a place in the spotlight with some of the era's hottest big bands. Billie Holiday sang as if she had lived each lyric, and in many ways she had. Through a sequence of raw and poignant poems, award-winning poet Carole Boston Weatherford chronicles Eleanora Fagan's metamorphosis into Billie Holiday. The author examines the singer's young life, her fight for survival, and the dream she pursued with passion in this Coretta Scott King Author Honor winner. With stunning art by Floyd Cooper, this book provides a revealing look at a cultural icon.
 

About Carole Boston Weatherford

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Carole Boston Weatherford is an award-winning poet and author of over two dozen books for young readers. She lives in High Point, North Carolina. Floyd Cooper has illustrated more than sixty books for children and young adults includingMiss Crandall's School for Young Ladies & Little Mises of Color by Elizabeth Alexander and Marilyn Nelson andTough Boy Sonatasby Curtis L. Crisler. He lives in Easton, Pennsylvania. Carole Boston Weatherford is an award-winning poet and author of over two dozen books for young readers. She lives in North Carolina. Floyd Cooper has brought his artistic vision to more than sixty books and over two thousand book jackets. He is a recipient of the 2009 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, as well as three Coretta Scott King Honors, ten ALA Notables, and an NAACP Image Award, among other honors. He lives in Easton, Pennsylvania.
 
Published October 1, 2008 by WordSong. 120 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography. Fiction

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Holiday never knew her father’s love and experienced rape, reform school, jail and vicious racism in a land where “the color line / was as plain as the stripe down a highway.” The first-person poems, titled after actual songs, conclude with Holiday at her peak at age 25, singing her signature “St...

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