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Marian Anderson is best known for her historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, which drew an integrated crowd of 75,000 people in pre-Civil Rights America. While this momentous event showcased the uniqueness of her voice, the strength of her character, & the struggles of the times in which she...
Marian Anderson is best known for her historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, which drew an integrated crowd of 75,000 people in pre-Civil Rights America. While this momentous event showcased the uniqueness of her voice, the strength of her character, & the struggles of the times in which she lived, it is only part of her story. Like the operatic arias Marian would come to sing, Ryan's text is as moving as a libretto, & Selznick's pictures as exquisitely detailed & elaborately designed as a stage set. What emerges most profoundly from their shared vision is a role model of courage.
An Honor Book for the 2003 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award
Although this picture-book biography of the acclaimed American contralto doesn't play as fast and loose with the facts as did Ryan and Selznick's similarly formatted (and similarly lavish) Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride, it does indulge in a similar mythification. Marian Ander-son's first European tour was not the unqualified success this book would have it; her audition with maestro Giuseppe Boghetti was not the dramatic scena depicted here; her career was built as much on Bach and Brahms as it was on spirituals, whose verses are sometimes employed awkwardly here to convey Anderson's state of mind at various pivotal moments. And oddly, the keynote of the Anderson myth-being kept out of Constitution Hall by the D.A.R.-is here muted, the Daughters unnamed until the author's supplemental note. But while Anderson herself was a modest woman, her career was big and glamorous, and significant in both musical and social terms, and Ryan and Selznick get all this right. The large double-page spreads are impressive in sweep and scale but keep their humanity by using a limited palette re-creating the tones of old sepia photographs; judicious sky-blue accents keep the sun shining. Some of the portraits of Anderson recall famous photos of the singer, and throughout both the pictures and text there's an intimacy of tone that gives life to the legend.--Horn Book, November 1st, 2002
The creative team behind Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride returns with a picture book biography as understated and graceful as its subject, singer Marian Anderson (1897-1993). Tracing the African-American diva from her beginnings as an eight-year-old church choir wonder ("the pride of South Philadelphia") through years of struggle to rise above the racism that would delay her debut with the Metropolitan Opera until she was 57, this book masterfully distills the events in the life of an extraordinary musician. Ryan's narrative smoothly integrates biographical details with lyrics from the gospel songs Anderson made famous: a passage about the budding singer's longing to perform onstage ("Opera was simply the sun and the moon--a dream that seemed too far away to reach") segues to "He's got the sun and the moon right in His hands"; "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child..." follows a 213 spread of the singer on the bow of a ship bound for Europe, the sun creating a halo effect. Working with a sepia-toned palette, Selznick's paintings shimmer with emotion, his range of shading as versatile as Anderson's three-octave voice. Whether depicting her as barely visible be
Posted November 26, 2012
A touching story which should the difficulties of race and history. This book is a great introduction to history and social issues. It would be the perfect starter for discussions of race and social issues in American History. The book is kept lively by the charm used by the author whom penned this story of a girl finding her dream despite obstacles. A truly inspirational book that is a must share for young readers. This book offers a glimpse into the civil rights issue before the movement began. While offering insight to the history of segregation it also offers a glimer of hope amongst the dark subject. The ability of one to work hard and in the end have the dream will truely capture the imagination of young readers.
Posted May 28, 2012
A wonderful story about someone doing something they love with every part of your being. When Marian Sang is a story about a girl singing from the soul and pursing a life in singing no matter what they say. It is a wonderful story and the pictures are just beautiful. This is a story that everyone should read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 23, 2011
My personal favorite thing about this book besides the illustrations was the way that the author told some parts of the story through song lyrics. This book lets us into the life of a singer, but a singer who was african american and lived in the Great Depression. I would recommend this book to older children.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 15, 2009
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