Horn for Louis

( 8 )

Overview

Seven-year-old Louis Armstrong was too poor to buy a real horn. He didn’t even go to school. To help his mother pay the rent, Louis had a job. Every day he rode a junk wagon through the streets of New Orleans, playing his tin horn and collecting stuff people didn’t want. Then one day the junk wagon passed a pawn shop with a gleaming brass trumpet in the window. . . . A Horn for Louis is perfect for Black History Month. With messages about hard work, persistence, hope, tolerance, cooperation, trust, and ...
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Overview

Seven-year-old Louis Armstrong was too poor to buy a real horn. He didn’t even go to school. To help his mother pay the rent, Louis had a job. Every day he rode a junk wagon through the streets of New Orleans, playing his tin horn and collecting stuff people didn’t want. Then one day the junk wagon passed a pawn shop with a gleaming brass trumpet in the window. . . . A Horn for Louis is perfect for Black History Month. With messages about hard work, persistence, hope, tolerance, cooperation, trust, and friendship, it’s perfect for the rest of the year, too!

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Born into a poor family in New Orleans at the turn of the century, Louis Armstrong's talent was apparently innate and only became better when he received his first cornet. A Horn for Louis is, in part, a fictional retelling of how Armstrong received his first horn from a Jewish family that he worked for. Kimmel admits in a note at the end of the text that the story is largely fictional and that little or nor credence should be given to the recounting. And yet Armstrong's rise to glory and his tremendous talent with horns cannot be denied. This is still a wonderful tale of perseverance and never giving up on your dreams—no matter your age. Seven-year-old Louis desperately wants a horn but is also proud and does not accept charity, even for something that he has wanted all his life. His pride makes it difficult to accept the old horn that is bought for him by his employers, but when a deal is struck that allows Louis to keep the horn and to pay off the debt in a fashion he can afford, Louis happily accepts and even plays his way home later that night. Short chapters make this story easy to read for beginning readers and black-and-white sketches break up longer sections with scenes from the day when Louis received his first horn. 2005, Random House, Ages 5 to 10.
—Danielle Williams
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Adapted from an unpublished memoir, this beginning chapter book is an account of Armstrong's youthful acquisition of his first true horn. It also offers a snapshot of New Orleans's Brick Row at the turn of the 20th century that reveals the hardship yet intimate connection of its residents. Streets and neighborhoods come to life with the sights and sounds of the city's multiethnic communities. Young Louis lived in a rooming house with his mother and sister and dreamed of a bedroom of his own, with a real bed instead of quilts on the floor, and he helped to support the family. His musical gifts became apparent early on to those on the streets as he revealed a talent beyond the capabilities of a seven-year-old playing a tin horn without a mouthpiece. Kimmel's skilled narrative accentuates the diversity of the boy's surroundings and the early influence of local music upon his innate gift. Bernardin's dynamic black-and-white artwork captures the vivacious subject well and includes many period and cultural details. This biographical slice-of-life reveals much about the background of this famed musician. Simple sentence structure provides encouragement for fledgling readers and makes this an entertaining addition for most collections.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Kimmel embroiders one of the several contradictory anecdotes Louis Armstrong told about how he got his first horn into a warm Hanukkah tale with a whiff of old New Orleans. So poor that he sleeps with his Mama and little sister in a pile of quilts on the floor, seven-year-old Louis is proud of his paying job with the Karnofskys, Jewish proprietors of a junkyard. When the old tin horn on which he plays the music that wells out of him is smashed in a mishap, his affectionate employers present him with a spruced-up old cornet as a Hanukkah gift. Remembering his Mama's dictum, that they always pay their own way rather than accept charity, he tearfully rejects the horn at first-but then works out a deal with kindly Mr. Karnofsky to pay back the horn's cost. Culminating in a charged encounter between Louis and his idol, "King" Oliver, this simply told episode is punctuated with pointedly explicit lessons, but also animated by the joy Louis takes in hearing and performing his town's distinctive music. (illustrations not seen) (afterword, glossary) (Fiction. 9-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375840050
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 11/14/2006
  • Series: Stepping Stone Book Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 799,247
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.58 (w) x 7.57 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Kimmel grew up in Brooklyn, New York, loving the music of Louis Armstrong, who lived a few miles away in Queens. He is the award-winningauthor of the Caldecott Honor Book Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Kiley

    either grimm or full house

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    jay

    Im on jordens

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Pitviper

    Ok lets stay then. Ok whats your fav show

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Garrtt

    Here

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Good

    It was good but to short and sad

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    Love

    Love it and you will love it too but it is a love story it makes you cry when you hear it just read it for me

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

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