Sunday, May 1, 2016

Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong

Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong
By Lesa Cline-Ransome
Illustrated by James Ransome
Holiday House, 2016. Biography.

“Little Louis Armstrong was born, black and poor and lucky” in New Orleans, and though he didn’t have things that we take for granted today, such as electricity and running water, he felt lucky because he was loved by family and surrounded by music that could be found everywhere he went in the city. When he was eleven years old, the scrapes he got himself into got him sent to the Colored Waif’s Home for Boys; what he thought would be the end of the world ended up being a blessing because there he learned to play the cornet. When he was fourteen, he returned home and met up with King Oliver, a great cornet player, who mentored him and helped honed his talent, and from there his musical career took off.

The text, written in a jazz beat, compliments the biography as well has the water colored illustrations. As a fan of Armstrong’s music, it was interesting to learn that Armstrong started his music career with a cornet and not the trumpet he became so proficient at later in his career. Author notes in the back give more detail on Armstrong’s influence in the music industry. A great find for jazz fans.

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