Harlem's Little Blackbird by Renee Watson

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Synopsis

Zora and Langston. Billie and Bessie. Eubie and Duke. If the Harlem Renaissance had a court, they were its kings and queens. But there were other, lesser known individuals whose contributions were just as impactful, such as Florence Mills. Born to parents who were former-slaves Florence knew early on that she loved to sing. And that people really responded to her sweet, bird-like voice. Her dancing and singing catapulted her all the way to the stages of 1920s Broadway where she inspired songs and even entire plays! Yet with all this success, she knew firsthand how bigotry shaped her world. And when she was offered the role of a lifetime from Ziegfeld himself, she chose to support all-black musicals instead.

Fans of When Marian Sang and Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa will jump at the chance to discover another talented performer whose voice transcended and transformed the circumstances society placed on her.
 

About Renee Watson

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RENÉE WATSON has worked as a teaching-artist for more than 10 years, teaching creative writing and theater to elementary, middle, and high school students. She also uses writing and drama therapy to work with youth and adults. Renée lives in New York, NY.
 
Published October 23, 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers. 40 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Harlem's Little Blackbird

Kirkus Reviews

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Watson's biographical distillation of the life of jazz singer and dancer Florence Mills is endearing and affectionate, at just the right level for very young readers.

Oct 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Harlem's Little Blackbird

The New York Times

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Picture books about Florence Mills, Helen Keller, Benjamin Franklin, Noah Webster and the Brontë sisters.

Nov 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Harlem's Little Blackbird

Publishers Weekly

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Watson (A Place Where Hurricanes Happen) pairs with first-time illustrator Robinson for a subdued but striking telling of the life of Florence Mills, following her journey from "the daughter of former slaves, living in a teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy house" to international stardom as a singer and perfo...

Dec 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Harlem's Little Blackbird

City Book Review

Florence began winning medals for her singing, and when she was invited to sing at a local theatre, discovered her family and friends would not be allowed to sit in the audience because they were black.

Dec 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Harlem's Little Blackbird

City Book Review

Florence began winning medals for her singing, and when she was invited to sing at a local theatre, discovered her family and friends would not be allowed to sit in the audience because they were black.

Dec 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Harlem's Little Blackbird

Portland Book Review

Wilson Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biologist Author of On Human Nature Sat 11 Tix are available at etix.com Sun7:30 @Powells the first collection of short fiction from Jess Walter, is a suite of diverse, often comic stories wp.me/P2DwkQ-bv0 Saturday the 2nd, 10am / Powell’s City of Books ...

Feb 15 2013 | Read Full Review of Harlem's Little Blackbird

Youth Services Book Review

To elementary schools for picture book biographies and all public libraries.

Feb 04 2013 | Read Full Review of Harlem's Little Blackbird

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