Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson
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isbn: 9780823431427
January 17, 2014 | $16.95

Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson

Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History

by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Illustrator(s): James E. Ransome
Hardcover | Pages: 32
Size: 11 X 9 | USD: $16.95
ISBN: 9780823423620
Publication Date: February 1, 2014
Age: 8-12 | Guided Reading Level: M
Themes: 20th Century, Anti Racism / Black Interest / Own Voices / Activism Conversation Starters, Biography, Black Voices, Diversity & Inclusion, Poetry & Verse
Recommendations: A,C,H,K,PW,SLJ

About the Book

Expressive poetry honors the first widely seen integrated jazz performance: the debut of the Benny Goodman quartet with Teddy Wilson in Chicago in 1936.

It wasn’t soft
It wasn’t black
It wasn’t sweet
It wasn’t white
It was swing

Brought together by the love of playing jazz music, Teddy Wilson and Benny Goodman broke the color barrier in entertainment when they formed the Benny Goodman Trio with Gene Krupa.

This lush and lyrical picture book tells the story of how two musical prodigies from very different backgrounds—one a young black boy growing up in Tuskegee, Alabama, the other the son of struggling Russian-Jewish immigrants from the West Side of Chicago—were brought together by their love of music, and helped create the jazz style known as swing.

Written in exuberant verse paired with vibrant watercolor paintings, this expressive story explodes off the pages. Nonfiction back matter detailing the events that led to the groundbreaking performance is included, making this an exceptional resource for educators and students.

Author/Illustrator Q&A
Author/Illustrator Q&A

Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome

An in-depth interview with the author and illustrator
Educator's Guide
Educator's Guide

BENNY GOODMAN AND TEDDY WILSON: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History

Educators’ Guide featuring questions for classroom discussion and suggestions for further exploration.

“A solid exploration of a resonant musical partnership at a historically significant moment in American music.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“The lyrical prose infuses the book with the spirit of jazz. . . . The illustrations are realistic and . . . seem to blur together at times and swing like the music that Teddy and Benny play.”
—School Library Journal