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Leonard Bernstein and American Music (Modern Music Masters) Hardcover – April 1, 2013

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For those who think of Justin Bieber when they think “modern music,” this new entry in the Modern Music Masters series, featuring an artist who was active from the late 1930s until his death in 1990, may seem like a stretch. But for serious music aficionados interested in classical music, this will be a feast. This solid biography is rich in detail about Bernstein’s life, how his intense passion for music helped him overcome the obstacles put before him, and how he became renowned even beyond the world of music. Reef makes it clear that Bernstein’s notoriety stemmed not only from his tireless pursuit to compose beautiful music, conduct, and perform but also from his generosity in sharing his zeal for music and his support for causes that touched him. The dignified design with photos, mostly black and white, strategically placed throughout adds to the appeal. A helpful time line is included in the back matter. This deserves a place with the other good biographies about this exceptional man. Grades 7-10. --Randall Enos

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