If I Only Had a Horn by Roxane Orgill
Young Louis Armstrong

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Synopsis

Roxane Orgill's vivid words and Leonard Jenkins's dramatic pictures combine to tell the story of a boy who grew up to be a giant of jazz - the legendary and beloved Louis Armstrong. As a poor boy in New Orleans, where music was everywhere - dancing out of doorways, singing on streetcorners, crying from the cornet of the great Joe Oliver for all to hear - Louis longed for a horn so that he too could sing, bring home pennies, and, most of all, tap happy-feet blues till the sun rose. It wasn't going to be easy. Many things, not all of them good, had to happen before he got his horn. But when at last he did, he sent music spiraling up into the New Orleans night sky like a spinning top gone crazy.
 

About Roxane Orgill

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Published September 29, 1997 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 32 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography.

Unrated Critic Reviews for If I Only Had a Horn

Kirkus Reviews

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Less prettified than Alan Schroeder's recent Satchmo's Blues (1996), the story of how Louis Armstrong got his first horn.

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Publishers Weekly

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"Orgill tells the story of a boy overcoming incredible odds to achieve his dream, without becoming too dark, maudlin or even overly hopeful, and Jenkins's dark palette looks the way jazz sounds," wrote PW in a starred review.

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Publishers Weekly

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She focuses on the gritty New Orleans streets of the early 1900s, where Louis first heard his idol, Joe Oliver, play the horn he coveted, and ""grabbed a piece of the music riding the air, to remember."" On one fateful New Year's Eve, Armstrong shoots an old .38 in the air and lands in the Colore...

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Reader Rating for If I Only Had a Horn
80%

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