- Hardcover: 176 pages
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (September 29, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781596439733
- ISBN-13: 978-1596439733
- ASIN: 1596439734
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound Hardcover – September 29, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—A tour of the musical powerhouse's history done with verve and panache. "The Groove" takes readers through the birth and demise of Motown, one of the most influential African American-owned enterprises in the world's social and musical history. Centering around Gordy Berry, the talented tastemaker and eventual mogul, the ingenious narration highlights the company's humble beginnings—a pipe dream financed by Berry family's investment of $800—and embeds the stories of the many legends and stars that were born in its studios into the social upheavals and landmark events of the time. From the civil rights struggles of the 1960s and the Vietnam protests of the 1970s, these important milestones are interspersed throughout, bringing home the important place Motown had not only in the proliferation of rhythm and blues, rock, and disco into American culture but also its integration into the African American identity. The funky and melodic narrative style never wears thin and the familiar conceit helps make the darker parts of history age-appropriate for the audience. The thorough and detailed resources, photos, time line, and discography will encourage readers to want to learn more about the well-known Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and Marvin Gaye, and the not-so-well-known Funk Brothers—Motown's official studio band. VERDICT A well-crafted spin that will reverberate in the hearts of music, African American culture, and history buffs.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal
“A well-crafted spin that will reverberate in the hearts of music, African American culture, and history buffs.” ―School Library Journal, starred review
“Veteran author Pinkney takes readers on a road trip to Motownin a book that catches the excitement of Hitsville U.S.A.” ―Booklist, starred review
“An ebullient, wonderfully told introduction to music that had an indelible influence on a generation and its times.” ―Kirkus
"Pinkney [...] delivers a memorable spin on Motown’s unparalleled cultural and musical heritage." ―The Washington Post
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It started out small in a hometown, where a young ambitious man named Berry Gordy quit his job at Ford Motor Company. The appeal of the music industry was pulling him and he could not resist it. This is the story of how a loaned $8 hundred changed the life of a person and the world. There were many difficulties to the success of Motown, which the author skillfully turns into an ongoing metaphor of a road trip. “A road trip through Motown Sound” is the subtitle. The laid-back style of writing and the hometown vibes cause you to feel the emotion as if you were there at the studio, and give a personal story that everyone can relate to. If you are interested in music, pop culture, or entrepreneurship, this is definitely the perfect book for you.
“Rhythm Ride” is a great book for everyone to enjoy. It is a short and easy read, with big charisma. I would recommend this story to readers ages 10 and up. A great thing about this novel is that there is a real photograph on almost every page complete with a caption that relates it with what is going on in the story. This makes it even more exciting and helps you visualize what is going on.
Additionally, this story is filled with important themes and it describes what it was really like during the civil rights movement for African Americans. The author inlays themes like hard work, perseverance, bravery, sacrifice, and doing what you love, that teach kids and adults alike significant morals. Almost everyone working for Gordy at Motown was black, which really made a statement back in the 60s. The company went through some hard times, and were discriminated, but came out on top. This story shows that anyone can do anything, and not to judge people for their situations.
Overall, a great book for everyone to read, a wonderful learning experience, and a part of history worth learning about. Berry Gordy said, “Motown was about music for all people - white and black, blue and green, cops and the robbers.” As well as, “I have this ability to find this hidden talent in people that sometimes even they didn't know they had.”
Kate D, 13, Central Pennsylvania Mensa
This book deals with every possible subject you could imagine about the times, the stars and the music but it does take two hard-hitting historical detours which are necessary when telling the African-American story from any point of view, even through its music. These are Southern segregation and the Race Riots of the early 70s, both of these are part of the Civil Rights Movement. These sections are dealt with in a particularly sensitive yet no punches held manner for the middle-grade audience. To paraphrase "The Groove", the general atmosphere used to introduce these topics is: 'Now, Child, we are coming to some dark, disturbing times. I'm sorry. I don't like this part of our history, but it happened and is an important part of the Groove. Close your eyes if you must, but make sure you listen as this story must be told and not forgotten. You are safe and I am with you." Doesn't that sound like your Grandma telling you stories about her past?! Totally 100% loved the book. The back matter is incredible as well with a Discography, recommended TV/Movie watching, Bibliography plus Recommended Reading List. A must read on the topic for young and old!