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Who Was Louis Armstrong? Paperback – December 29, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Series: Who Was...?
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap (December 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0448433680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0448433684
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of five novels for adults, THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS, IN DAHLIA'S WAKE, BREAKING THE BANK (which has been optioned for a film) and A WEDDING IN GREAT NECK. Her fifth novel, TWO OF A KIND, will be out in September 2013.

She is also an award-winning children's book author with 22 children's books to her credit. THE DOLL SHOP DOWNSTAIRS received a starred review from Jewish Book World saying that it "will become a classic." In another starred review Kirkus called the sequel, THE CATS IN THE DOLL SHOP, "a quiet treasure." THE DOLL WITH THE YELLOW STAR won the 2006 Once Upon a World Award presented by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Her latest book LITTLE AUTHOR IN THE BIG WOODS, a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, will be published by Holt.

For over a dozen years, Yona has been the Fiction Editor at Lilith Magazine. She works independently to help aspiring writers polish their manuscripts. To arrange a book club visit, inquire about editorial services or just to say hi, please contact Yona via her website: www.yonazeldismcdonough.com or on the Facebook fan pages for her novels, which she hopes you'll "like."

FROM YONA:

When I was young, I didn't think about becoming a writer. In fact, I was determined to become a ballerina, because I studied ballet for many years, and by the time I was in high school, I was taking seven ballet classes a week. But I was always a big reader. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and I used to frequent all the different libraries in my neighborhood on a regular basis. I would look for books by authors I loved. I read my favorite books--ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, A LITTLE PRINCESS, A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN--over and over again. I probably read each of those books twenty times in all. I read lots of other things too: I loved comic books and magazines, like Mad and Seventeen. But when you are reader, you just need to read. Sometimes you read books that change your life, like OF MICE AND MEN, which I read--and adored-- when I was in sixth grade. Other times, you read the latest adventures of Betty and Veronica. You'll read a three-day old newspaper some days or the back of the cereal box if that's all that there is available, because readers just need to read. So I kept reading, and I kept dancing too, though by the time I was a senior in high school, it was pretty clear to me that I was neither talented nor driven enough to become a professional ballet dancer and I stopped taking lessons and went off to college instead.


As a student at Vassar College, I never once took a writing course. I was not accepted into the poetry workshop I applied to, so I avoided all other writing classes, and instead focused on literature, language and art history, which was my declared major. I was so taken with the field that I decided to pursue my studies on a graduate level. I enrolled in a PhD program at Columbia University where I have to confess that I was miserable. I didn't like the teachers, the students or the classes. I found graduate school the antithesis of undergraduate education; while the latter encouraged experimentation, growth, expansion, the former seemed to demand a kind of narrowing of focus and a rigidity that was simply at odds with my soul. It was like business school without the reward of a well-paying job at the end. Everyone carried a briefcase. I too bought a briefcase, but since I mostly used it to tote my lunch and the NYT crossword puzzle, it didn't do much for my success as a grad student. But I have to thank the program at Columbia for being so very inhospitable, because it helped nudge me out of academia, where I so patently did not belong, and into a different kind of life. I was allowed to take classes in other departments, and by now I was recovered from my earlier rejection so I decided to take a fiction writing class--also, the class was open to anyone; I didn't have to submit work to be accepted. This class was my 'aha!' moment. The light bulb went off for me when I took that class. Suddenly, I understood what I wanted to do with my life. Now I just had to find a way to make a living while I did it.


I finished out the year at Columbia, got a job in which I had no interest whatsoever, and began to look for any kind of freelance writing that I could find. In the beginning, I wrote for very little money or even for free: I wrote for neighborhood newspapers, the alumni magazine of my college. I wrote brochures, book reviews, newsletters--anything and everything that anyone would ask me to write. I did this for a long time and eventually, it worked. I was able to be a little choosier about what I wrote, and for whom I wrote it. And I was able to use my clips to persuade editors to actually assign me articles and stories, instead of my having to write them and hope I could get then published.
But all the while I was also writing the kind of fiction--short stories, a novel--that had interested me when I was still a student at Columbia. And eventually I began to publish this work too.

I presently live in Brooklyn, NY with my husband and our two children and two small, yappy dogs. I have been setting my recent novels in my own backyard so to speak; Brooklyn has been fertile ground in all sorts of ways.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jo An M. on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
While my son, age 10 and in fifth grade, is a good reader, he doesn't necessarily pick up books to read unless he has to do a book report. This was extremely easy for him to polish off although the content was excellent. His teacher allowed the book when he showed what the age range was supposed to be. This needs to be for younger readers. Louis Armstrong is worthy of a more advanced book for the 10-12 range. Our problem was it was either this or a 300-500 tome!
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Format: Paperback
I discovered this series when looking for books for a 3rd grade teacher who teaches informational text in a urban elementary school. The students loved this series, especially the girls. Very well received by the teacher and students.
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By F. Rangel on February 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great biography for children. Have a 7 year old who read it, and loved it. The "Who was series is perfect for children.
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By xemplar on December 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent bio for my seven year old daughter to learn about a Black history figure often over looked
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