for Roots and Blues
by Arnold Adoff
and R. Gregory Christie
“Each Word a Hammer Hit. Each Word The Solid Tip / of finger hitting squarely on the center of the ivory / yellow piano key.” Poet Arnold Adoff reveals pain and poignancy, strength and stories of African American history and experiences through poems and vignettes that celebrate both blues music and an enduring spirit finding ways to stay alive, survive, and thrive. “Sometimes: / It is only the insistent cry out of the mouth / of this beautiful baby that gives me strength / to turn the other cheek and work to buy the milk” (from “Sometimes”). Adoff’s poems have rhythms that pulse and pierce, glide and surprise. They are accompanied by full-page, full-color paintings by R. Gregory Christie that further illuminate the heart-rending and the hopeful in this masterful work. (Age 12 and older)
CCBC Choices 2012. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012. Used with permission.
Through poems and poetic prose pieces, acclaimed children's author Arnold Adoff celebrates that uniquely American form of music called the blues. In his signature “shaped speech” style, he creates a narrative of moments and joyous music, from the drums of the ancestors, the red dirt of the plantations, the current of the mighty Mississippi, and the shackles, blood, and tears of slavery. Each chop of the ax is a beat, each lash of the whip fashions another line on the musical staff. But each sound also creates the chords and harmonies that preserve the ancestors and their stories, and sustain life, faith, and hope into our own times.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.