Elvis Presley (Up Close Series)

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Overview

'Elvis left no one indifferent to rock and roll'?so begins award-winning author Wilborn Hampton's thoughtful account of the beloved and controversial Elvis Presley. When Elvis shook his hips and sang his soulful songs, teenagers screamed and parents fretted. Fans, record executives, movie producers, and even the army wanted a piece of this enigmatic performer and shy boy from Tupelo, Mississippi. What Elvis gave them changed music forever.

This latest addition to Viking's ongoing biography series, Up Close, ...

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Overview

'Elvis left no one indifferent to rock and roll'?so begins award-winning author Wilborn Hampton's thoughtful account of the beloved and controversial Elvis Presley. When Elvis shook his hips and sang his soulful songs, teenagers screamed and parents fretted. Fans, record executives, movie producers, and even the army wanted a piece of this enigmatic performer and shy boy from Tupelo, Mississippi. What Elvis gave them changed music forever.

This latest addition to Viking's ongoing biography series, Up Close, includes gorgeous black-and-white photographs and introduces readers to the complicated life of the king of rock and roll.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Cynthia Winfield
The short biographies of twentieth-century lives in the Up-Close Biographies series are captivating in their down-to-earth readability and compassionate narrations. Hampton paints Elvis Presley's life as one of extraordinary talent raised from small-town limitations to the height of stardom, ever focusing on the goodness of the man through his tumultuous life, even as his weakness and addiction destroyed the rock 'n' roll legend. Beginning with a personal vignette of his own rock 'n' roll conversion and employing some of youth's euphemisms-Hampton describes Elvis and his early love Dixie as "going together" and deciding to "not go all the way" before marriage-Hampton relates how the polite and truthful youth who "just wanted to please people" unwittingly transformed into a musical phenomenon and continued to become a drug-addicted has-been performing often without joy, and at the end, even with malice. Throughout, each author speaks to the subject's ability to balance family and professional pressures. They combine a sympathetic tone with accessible writing and a small finished book size, making the series appealing to readers grade seven and up. Other figures profiled in this series are Robert F. Kennedy, Oprah Winfrey, Rachel Carson, and Johnny Cash.
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up
From the foreword, readers learn that Hampton has an admiration for Elvis that reaches back to his childhood. His enthusiasm and passion for his subject are evident throughout this appealing biography, yet he remains objective about the performer's virtues as well as his tragic flaws. The striking cover photograph complements the lively and accessible text that delves not only into Elvis's life but also his impact on music and American culture. The writing is casual yet authoritative, and includes occasional black-and-white photographs. Readers who can't imagine a world without rock and roll will find this to be an excellent introduction to the man about whom John Lennon once said, "Before there was Elvis, there was nothing."
—Marcia KochelCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
A deeply engaging biography, written by someone who clearly loved Elvis and wants to share his story with a new generation. Hampton spins the tale out from the hardscrabble beginnings: a poor boy who once lived in a town called Shake Rag; the gift of a guitar and the power of gospel music; a boy who finds he can move people-especially girls-by singing that rock-'n'-roll. Hampton mentions everything: Elvis as library assistant; Sam Philips and the Grand Ole Opry; how Arthur Godfrey's show was a precursor of American Idol. He tells clearly how influential Elvis's music was, and how boring were the movies he made, and chronicles without sensationalism his decline into drug use, personal disaster and early death. Young people who want to know who the King was will find out, and their parents and grandparents will rediscover their sorrow that "Elvis has left the building." (source notes, bibliography, index) (Biography. 9-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670061662
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/14/2007
  • Series: Up Close Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 459,453
  • Age range: 11 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1120L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 7.28 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Wilborn Hampton

Wilborn Hampton is an editor and writer for the New York Times and the award-winning author of Kennedy Assassinated!, Meltdown, and September 11, 2001. He lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents


Foreword     11
Introduction     17
Chapter 1     22
Chapter 2     33
Chapter 3     45
Chapter 4     59
Chapter 5     69
Chapter 6     91
Chapter 7     113
Chapter 8     126
Chapter 9     144
Chapter 10     159
Source Notes     181
Bibliography     187
Index     191
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2008

    Fascinating portrait. . .

    many nonfiction books that are part of a series, this is a reasonably priced, well-written biography. Wilborn Hamption manages to create a fairly balanced picture of the man and the legend--including tidbits of trivia that reflect the complex mosaic of the man Elvis became. There are many facets to Evlis¿s story including the qualities that he had that were admirable as well as some characteristics that are less than savory. Throughout the text there are pictures of Elvis, his family, and people who were important to him. Each picture has a caption and is strategically located where it will enhance the narrative. At the end are source notes, a bibliography, an index, and photo credits. All in all, this is a quality piece that would enhance a biography collection in either a middle or high school. The language may be a bit simple for higher level students, but is less intimidating for students who have higher level thinking skills but lower reading abilities.

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