- Age Range: 10 and up
- Grade Level: 5 and up
- Lexile Measure: 1130L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 80 pages
- Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Har/Cdr edition (May 8, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375827978
- ISBN-13: 978-0375827976
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.5 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,170,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Take-Off (Bk & CD): American All-Girl Bands During World War II Hardcover – May 8, 2007
From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—History and music are combined in this account of all-women bands during World War II. Information about jazz and swing underlies Bolden's focus on the significance of female musicians who filled the void created by the war. They had to prove themselves in general and overcome ideas about what kind of music was appropriate for women to perform. Racism also impacted the ability of a number of the bands to tour the country. Bolden provides a wealth of material in this brief selection, and does so in a lively prose style and with frequent use of jazz vernacular. Photo captions and boxed inserts add interesting details. Endnotes; source lists of books, periodicals, and videos; a recommended reading list, and a discography are appended. This book would be most helpful for assignments on music or women's history.—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
To appreciate this book, readers need at least a nodding acquaintance with swing music. The accompanying CD will help, and Bolden's introduction, which features opinions from Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, and others, gets things off to a good start. Then, using fascinating archival material, including newspaper and magazine articles and posters, all heavily captioned, she goes on to discuss pioneering female jazz bands, which gained steam particularly during World War II after most male band members went overseas. One problem is that a book about female musicians from the past doesn't have the hook of derring-do that accompanies books about women fliers or explorers. Bolden counters the difficulty by using a fresh style of writing, as bouncy as the music, and incorporating lots of slang--which works, up to a point. History students may be the best audience for this, but some kids will love the music and want to know more. Quotes are sourced and extensive lists for further reading and listening are provided. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
Knowing little about this part of music history, I found this book to be very helpful. It was an easy read, but all the historical highlights were there - and the CD is a definite plus! "Take-off" is a good book to have before you tackle a more detailed historical account like "Swing Shift" by Sherrie Tucker. Highly recommend "Take-off."
Take-Off (which is slang for an improv solo) tells an abbreviated story, for sure, but nonetheless lays it out: 16 million American men served in World War II, and their absence created room for more than just Rosie the Riveter; it also allowed space for The Hour of Charm All Girl Orchestra, Ada Leonard (a former stripper) and her All-American Girl Orchestra, and The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, among others. And while Take-Off will never be confused with a hard-hitting piece of feminist scholarship, Bolden does offer tentative critiques of the ways in which patriarchy forced the hands of the women she chronicles, explaining, for example, that as female musicians got bolder and player harder music, they compensated by dressing softer, trading in their simple skirts and blouses for strapless gowns with hem-to-hem ruffles the musicians had to iron on their travel suitcases. She also dedicates significant time detailing race relations of the time and the importance of single-race bands.
Bolden's use of jazz-era slang throughout the book often feels a bit silly and heavy-handed, but Take-Off is still a commendable exploration of the women who worked to dismantle the myth that "only God can make a tree, and only men can play good jazz." And perhaps best of all, the book comes with a CD of some of the most exciting swing music to come from the WWII era, reason enough to buy this book! While Take-Off is hardly definitive, it takes a necessary step in establishing that contrary to public opinion of the time, not all "women like violins."