Osborne's books revolve around Jack and Annie, siblings whose backyard tree house, transports them to dramatic times and places. In this story, the tree house whisks Jack and Annie off to New Orleans, 1915, where their mission is to help a young Louis Armstrong bring his gift of music to the world.
A History of New Orleans Music is the magic book that guides Jack and Annie through the story. Once they meet fourteen-year-old, Louis Armstrong, ('Dipper') they tag along with him to his several jobs hoping to convince him to bring his gift of music to the world.
Jack and Annie learn that New Orleans is the most haunted city in America. It is the Eve of All Saints, (Halloween) and a good night for 'ghost sightings'. It is Louis Armstrong's trumpet playing that actually gets the ghosts to dance their way off into the night.
The story not only entertains, it teaches about the young life of Louis Armstrong and how his career as a trumpet player began with is early gigs aboard the Mississippi Steamboats. Osbourne includes real ghosts in the story! My son was on the edge of his seat. She breifly and cleverly brings in the subject of racism that existed during that time and compares it to modern day, the President of the United States is an African American. Thoughtfully, She used titles of the songs that Louis Armstrong recorded in his career as chapter titles, and like music, the story flows along with ease.
My son really enjoyed the book. I appreciated how it presented a mini-history lesson of Louis Armstrong and New Orleans, while still being thoroughly entertaining. I understand why Mary Pope Osborne has reached #42 in this best-selling series. I just picked up more of the series yesterday. We will read Pirates Past Noon #4, next. I can't wait until he tells me, "Mom, I am going to read this one to you!"