George Gershwin: American Composer

George Gershwin: American Composer

by Catherine Reef

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
When a piano was delivered to the home of Rose and Morris Gershwin in 1910, they intended for their oldest son, Izzy, to become the family musician. However, the boy who first stroked the ivories was George, the younger son. By fooling around on a neighbor's piano and picking up tunes here and there, George had taught himself to play. And from that moment on, music became the focus of his life. Told with rich detail and illustrated with historical photographs, this biography traces the personal and musical development of one of America's greatest composers. Starting as a song plugger on Tin Pan Alley, George quickly gained a reputation for his flair and talent. His music was a mix of ragtime, the blues, jazz, and classical. From Rhapsody in Blue to "Swanee" to "Someone to Watch over Me," Gershwin's songs have become classics of American music. Reef's biography is compelling and informative, reading almost like a novel. Used with sound recordings of Gershwin's music, this biography would be an excellent addition to a unit on twentieth century composers. 2000, Morgan Reynolds Inc., Ages 10 up, $19.95. Reviewer: Leah Hanson
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Reef covers Gershwin's life from his childhood in New York City at the turn of the century to his death in 1937. The writing has some errors, inconsistencies, and omissions, and the author stumbles in trying to describe the composer's lyrics without actually quoting them. The glossary of musical terms is incomplete and, as most words are defined in context, unnecessary. The selection of black-and-white photos is uninspired. Although colorful, attractive, and fascinating to look at, Mike Venezia's George Gershwin (Children's, 1994) and Roland Vernon's Introducing Gershwin (Silver Burdett, 1996) have very abbreviated texts. Reef's book does fill in some of the gaps, creating a more comprehensive overview of Gershwin's life. Thus, it may meet a need in libraries that don't own a copy of Paul Kresh's An American Rhapsody (Lodestar, 1988; o.p.).-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

Morgan Reynolds, Incorporated
Publication date:
Masters of Music Series
Product dimensions:
5.89(w) x 8.85(h) x 0.53(d)
Age Range:
10 - 17 Years

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