Swing Sisters by Karen Deans, illustrated by Joe Cepeda

swing sisters2Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm by Karen Deans, illustrated by Joe Cepeda. Holiday House, 2015.

Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-10

Did you know there was an all-female, interracial jazz band in the early 20th century? A little-known slice of music history comes to life in this vibrantly illustrated nonfiction picture book.

Deans’ text honestly describes the origins and struggles of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm as they wrestled with segregation and discrimination in both the North and the South. Illustrations capture the movement inherent in jazz music and bring the story to life. Elementary students interested in music of all kinds will enjoy this story and its reminder that musical talent is not limited to one race or gender. Rather, we should all be using our unique talents to bring the Lord glory! (And we should be willing to celebrate others’ gifts regardless of their appearances.)

Cautions: none
Overall Rating: 4 (out of 5)

  • Worldview Rating: 3.75
  • Artistic Rating: 4.25

Categories: Picture Books, Nonfiction, Music, Multicultural, Character Values, 4 stars and up
Cover image from Amazon
A copy of this book  was received from the publisher  for a fair review.

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Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest.

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