Thursday, August 9, 2012

Raychelle Reviews: When Grandmama Sings by Margaree King Mitchell

When Grandmama Sings by Margaree King Mitchell (illustrated by James E. Ransome) is an uplifting story of courage, strength, and perseverance in the face of adversity. Grandmama Coles, a jazz singer from Pecan Flats, Mississippi, is given an opportunity to tour the Deep South during the summer months with a swing jazz band. She is accompanied by her granddaughter, Belle, who learns that using one's talents and standing up for one's beliefs are important in spite of opposition.

When Grandmama Sings is set during the 1940s where segregation and discrimination were the order of the day. Told through the eyes of Belle, the reader learns something of the history of race relations in the U.S. While Grandmama Coles and the band suffer ill-treatment at the hands of club and business owners, they press on in their quest to perform--sometimes even for free. Leading the charge is Grandmama Coles who demands justice while her gift for song brings people people from different walks of life together. Belle has a close and loving relationship with her grandmother. These acts of bravery only serve to bring them closer.

A wonderfully-illustrated book with the artwork of James E. Ransome, When Grandmama Sings is a story that children and adults alike will enjoy time and time again.

Read Margaree King Mitchell's interview on The Writer's Block! 

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