"Duke used to say that the individual sound of a musician revealed his soul. Mick Carlon is a 'soul' storyteller."—Nat Hentoff, author of Jazz Country
"A ripping good yarn. . . . Plunges the reader into the world of Duke Ellington and the America of 1939."—Brian Morton, author of The Penguin Guide to Jazz
"Wonderfully convincing and authentic characterizations. . . . A thoroughly enjoyable read."—Dan Morgenstern, author of Living with Jazz
"We encounter not only Duke's genius, but his character and humanity. This is one train you won't want to get off!"—Dick Golden, radio host
"When this marvelously evocative novel finds a home in the school curriculum, kids across America will be downloading Duke."—Jack Bradley
"Excellent command of voice, period, and ethnic dialect . . . clear love and in-depth knowledge of Ellington and his band."—Alexandria LaFaye, author of The Keening
Nine-year-old Danny stows away on Duke Ellington's train one Georgia night. Through Danny's eyes, we meet some of America's finest musicians as he accompanies them on their 1939 European tour, when the train was briefly held in Germany. Says Nat Hentoff, "I knew Duke Ellington for twenty-five years. The Ellington in this book is the man I knew."
Mick Carlon is a twenty-seven-year veteran English/journalism high- and middle-school teacher. A lifelong jazz fan, he regularly plays jazz in his classroom and has turned hundreds of students into jazz fans. He says, "If young people are simply exposed to the music and stories of these American artists, they will make a friend for life."