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When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop (Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent) Hardcover – Picture Book, August 27, 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 258 ratings



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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-5–As a child in Jamaica, Clive Campbell aspired to be a DJ. At 13, he moved to the Bronx, where he gained the nickname Hercules because he grew to be more than six feet tall. He shortened the name to Herc, added Kool, and is credited as a pioneer of hip hop. He created a new art form for his parties when he plugged in two turntables to create longer breaks for dancing and began chanting the names of his friends during the breaks. Hill's descriptive writing is paired with Taylor's vibrant artwork, which features large crowds dancing, close-up shots of breakdancing, or Herc's hands masterfully spinning the dual turntables. This is a fine introduction to the topic, and the extensive time line, which spans from 1973 to 1986, will help students with reports and show them how this American art form was created.–Glynis Jean Wray, Ocean County Library, Toms River, NJα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This picture-book biography introduces one of the unsung creators of hip-hop, Clive Campbell, who was born in Jamaica in 1955. He was entranced by the massive dance parties thrown by a neighbor, and when his family moved to the Bronx, he took up the name Kool Herc and created the innovative techniques behind hip-hop DJing. Stacking musical breaks on top of each other to fuel long stretches of dancing frenzy, calling the kids with the best moves “break-dancers,” and sending shout-outs to friends and little offhand rhymes over the music—Kool Herc unique and hip-hop wouldn’t exist without any one of these flashes of inspiration. By the time rap music really took off, in the early 1980s, he was already out of the limelight but not without leaving a massive legacy. Aside from the bouncy bio of the book’s star, Hill also highlights the positive social force of hip-hop and the boundless energy of musical joy. It’s all matched by Taylor’s freewheeling artwork. A treat from an underrepresented corner of music history. Grades 2-4. --Ian Chipman

Product details

  • ASIN : 1596435402
  • Publisher : Roaring Brook Press; Illustrated edition (August 27, 2013)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9781596435407
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1596435407
  • Reading age : 6 - 10 years
  • Lexile measure : AD770L
  • Grade level : 1 - 5
  • Item Weight : 15.5 ounces
  • Dimensions : 9.98 x 0.53 x 10.11 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 258 ratings

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
258 global ratings
5 star
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4 star
4%
3 star
1%
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%
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Top reviews from other countries

James
4.0 out of 5 stars Educational and accessible, fit for everyone
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 28, 2017
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lucky Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and illustrated. A super book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 27, 2020
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Maxine Whittaker is
5.0 out of 5 stars Is a really good book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 3, 2018
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Nelly Kunze
5.0 out of 5 stars Eine Geschichte, die nicht jede*r kennt....
Reviewed in Germany on October 26, 2015
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British Commentator
4.0 out of 5 stars For young children only.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 1, 2013
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