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Children's LiteratureLouis Armstrong is known to the modern world as the "Father of Jazz." As a boy, however, Louis was known as the boy who delivered coal for a few cents a day to help support his poverty-stricken family. When Louis was twelve, a practical joke in which he shot a gun holding blanks resulted in Louis spending a year in the Colored Waif's Home. Ironically, this near-disaster altered Louis's life for the good. At the home, he learned to play cornet. From that point, Armstrong's drive and talent took over, leading him to a succession of increasingly prestigious jobs, and eventually earning him worldwide acclaim. Though Armstrong's darker side is glossed over in this easy-to-read biography, part of World Almanac Library's "Trailblazers of the Modern World" series, it nevertheless plays deserved tribute to one of America's greatest musicians. Sidebars offer insight into Jazz, Ragtime, and the Roaring Twenties. A timeline, glossary, list of further resources, and index are included. 2004, World Almanac Library, Ages 10 to 14.
— Christopher Moning