Gr 1-3-These biographies offer both a view of the early training of the subjects and the events or accomplishments that marked their lives as influential contributors to music. Sousa focuses on the importance of the composer's connection with military bands and mentions his introduction of ragtime to European society. Joplin includes a picture of African-American life in the transition to the 20th century. Foster emphasizes the simplicity of the lyrics and the "catchy" tunes that made the composer's work popular and points out that many of the songs are reminiscent of those sung by slaves. Shaded boxes in each book feature additional facts or trivia, and a "Fact File" and time line are included in the back matter. Black-and-white and color photos of people and places and reproductions of sheet music and documents enhance the texts. Good for beginning research and interesting reading.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.