Blues Journey: Walter Dean Myers

Blues Journey

Author: Walter Dean Myers
Illustrator: Christopher Myers
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Year: 2003
Brief Summary: This father/son collaboration explores the essence of blues music, touching on themes such as slavery, poverty, lynching, love spurned, fear of dying and of living.
Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children”s Literature, 2003′ ‘ Honor Book’ ‘ Picture Book’ ‘ United States’ ” ‘
Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, 2004′ ‘ Honor Book’ ” ‘ United States’ ” ‘
Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2004 ; Bank Street College of Education
Booklist Top 10 Art Books for Youth, 2003 ; American Library Association
Booklist Top 10 Black History Titles for Youth, 2004 ; American Library Association
Books That Make You Look: Visual Imagery, 2005 ; Bank Street College of Education
Bulletin Blue Ribbons, 2003 ; Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Capitol Choices, 2004 ; The Capitol Choices Committee
Children’s Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, Supplement, 2004 ; H.W. Wilson
Children’s Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, 2006 ; H.W. Wilson
Children’s Literature Choice List, 2004 ; Children’s Literature
Choices, 2004 ; Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Horn Book Fanfare, 2003 ; Horn Book
Kirkus Book Review Stars, February 15, 2003
Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts, 2004 ; NCTE Children’s Literature Assembly
Notable Children’s Books, 2004 ; ALSC American Library Association
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, 2004 ; National Council for the Social Studies
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, April 2003 ; Cahners
Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association, 2004 ; Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Discuss various aspects/characteristics of blues music.
  • Discuss various themes discussed in the book: slavery, poverty, etc.  How do musicians explore/express their feelings about these things through music?
  • Visit the music room of the school (if available) and listen to some blues music and discuss some instruments used to play this music.

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc. Author’s note on the history, elements, and importance of the blues.

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library


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