Friday, February 6, 2015

Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century by Carole Weatherford –ADVISABLE

Weatherford, Carole Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century 40 pgs, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2014. $17.99 PICTURE BOOK/BIOGRAPHY
This large picture book is the story of African American opera star Leontyne Price. She grew up in small town Mississippi in the 1920’s, where she was exposed to music on many different fronts –at church, on the radio, and at concerts. She wanted to have a career in music, but there wasn’t much opportunity for her due to racism. Leontyne persisted and eventually had a wonderful career was an opera star.
I loved how the illustrator chose to portray music, as rippling waves of color, it really brought the story to life. I think that students will be a bit confused how it would be so hard for Leontyne to become a singer because of her race, when we are presented with quite a bit of information about how she was inspired by Marion Anderson, already a successful African American opera singer. I would add this to my collection of biographies (especially because we have a teacher that does an opera every year and her students study opera) but not include it with my race issues collection since evidence of her struggles with it are not presented here in this book.
EL –ADVISABLE  Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

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