Growing up in the early-eighteenth century as the privileged only child of a household slave and her plantation owner on a tiny West Indian island, Joseph Boulogne heard music from around the globe, and he learned to play violin. After his father took him and his mother to Paris, Boulogne lived free, although he still suffered discrimination as a �mulatto.� As he grew up, he became a gifted, feted student who was taught by two great masters and given a beautiful instrument before he played first violin with a Paris orchestra and eventually became its conductor. By 30, he was a star, the first musician of color to play for royalty and a renowned composer. An author�s note fills in more facts, but unfortunately, there are no sources included in this picture-book biography about a figure rarely featured in books for youth. The full-page, richly colored paintings give a strong sense of the changing settings, from plantation to palace, but most moving are the close-ups of the extraordinary musician with his fingers on the violin strings. Grades 1-3. --Hazel Rochman
About the Author
LESA CLINE-RANSOME is the author of highly acclaimed picture book biographies, including Young Pelé: Soccer's First Star,
called "stirring" in a starred review from Booklist; Satchel Paige,
an ALA Notable Book about an African American baseball hero; Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist,
about an African American cyclist; and Helen Keller: The World in Her Heart.
Visit her at www.lesaclineransome.com.
JAMES E. RANSOME is the illustrator of many award-winning titles, including Young Pelé: Soccer's First Star,
a finalist for the NAACP Image Awards; Satchel Paige;
and Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist.
He is also the illustrator of Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building
by Deborah Hopkinson, a Boston Globe-Horn Book
Honor title and an ALA Notable Book; Creation,
which won a Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration; and Let My People Go
by Patricia C. McKissack, winner of an NAACP Image Award. Visit him at www.jamesransome.com.