“I was six years old the day we left the farm in Mississippi,” remembers Cassie in this richly textured picture book. “Between the boll weevils, the floods, and the landlord, there was no way a family could scratch out a living there anymore.”
Packing themselves into an old jalopywith Daddy, Uncle Vern, and Mama in the front seat and Cassie and her two brothers in the backthey joined the Great Migration from the impoverished Deep South to Chicago, where there was work to be had in the stockyards. Across the kids’ laps lay Daddy’s prized possession, a six-string guitar. Daddy worked hard to put food on the table, but what he really loved was playing the blues. This evocative tale of the African-American odyssey in search of a better life is also a homage to the uniquely American music that developed from African music and American spirituals, work songs, and folk ballads.
In the book’s backmatter, Garland relates how he first heard and fell in love with blues music, beginning a lifelong fandom. Portraits and thumbnail biographies of great blues musicians and landmark songs complete this tribute to the great American music and the yearnings that produced it.
Fountas & Pinnell Level S
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|Publisher:||Tilbury House Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||10.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.50(d)|
|Age Range:||6 - 10 Years|
About the Author
Michael Garland (Patterson, NY) is the illustrator of 75 children’s picture books, half of which he also wrote. Miss Smith and the Haunted Library is a New York Times bestseller. Other recent books include Tilbury's A Season of Flowers, and Daddy Played the Blues, Lost Dog, Tugboat, Car Goes Far, Fish Had a Wish (starred review from Publisher’s Weekly), Where’s My Homework?, and Grandpa’s Tractor (selected for the Original Art of Children’s Book Show by the Society of Illustrators in New York). He has illustrated bestselling picture books for James Patterson, Gloria Estefan, and other celebrity authors, and his illustrations for Patterson’s Santa Kid were the inspiration for Saks Fifth Avenue’s Christmas holiday window display in New York City. Garland’s Christmas Magic has become a seasonal classic and is currently in development as an animated Christmas special. Michael makes school visits across the country.