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Bessie Smith and the Night Riders

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3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  57 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Even though she can’t afford a ticket to see the great blues singer Bessie Smith perform, Emmarene listens outside Bessie’s tent—that is, until she bursts into the show to warn the crowd:The Night Riders have come!Bessie marches right outside and confronts the Night Riders by giving one of her famous low moans that says, "I may be down and out, but I ain’t gonna take it no ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 5th 2006 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lenna
Jun 08, 2010 Lenna rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
I read this book because it was based on a true event that happened outside of my hometown of Concord, NC. I found the author's note at the end of the story, which told the actual facts o the event, to be more fascinating than the actual story. Also, the wording seems like the book was written for kindergarten aged children, when the subject seems to be for children no younger than 5th grade.
(NS) Lauren
Nov 08, 2009 (NS) Lauren rated it really liked it
Grade/Interest Level: 2-4

Even though she can't afford a ticket to see the great blues singer Bessie Smith perform, Emmarene listens outside Bessie's tent—that is, until she bursts into the show to warn the crowd:The Night Riders have come! Bessie marches right outside and confronts the Night Riders by giving one of her famous low moans that says, "I may be down and out, but I ain't gonna take it no more." But will that be enough to scare them off?

This historical fiction account based on a true e
...more
Christine Turner
Even though she can't afford a ticket to see the great blues singer Bessie Smith perform, Emmarene listens outside Bessie's tent--that is, until she bursts into the show to warn the crowd:The Night Riders have come! Bessie marches right outside and confronts the Night Riders by giving one of her famous low moans that says, "I may be down and out, but I ain't gonna take it no more." But will that be enough to scare them off ?
Based on a true incident, Bessie Smith and the Night Riders is a powerfu
...more
Beth
Emmarene idolizes the great jazz singer Bessie Smith. But when she can't afford a ticket to Bessie's show in her hometown, she decides to go anyway and listen outside the tent. On the night of the show, Emmarene pokes her head through the tent so she can not only hear, but see the glamorous singer strut around in her feather boa. Soon, however, Emmarene notices some nefarious figures on horses, dressed in white sheets, carrying torches. The Night Riders, otherwise known as the Ku Klux Klan, have ...more
Christy
Jul 24, 2012 Christy rated it it was amazing
G.P. Putnam's Sons
2006
Sue Stauffacher
John Holyfield
30 pages
Multicultural

This story made me think of a Disney movie. I cannot recall the title of the movie at the moment; it was the one that was based in New Orleans and the main character of the movie had to work really hard for everything she got. In the end, she got the restaurant she wanted and the man of her dreams. This book reminds me of that because the little girl was doing everything she could to see Bessie Smith (famous singer from the
...more
Tara Crump
Mar 05, 2014 Tara Crump rated it really liked it
Emmarene is enthralled when blues singer Bessie Smith comes to town in her huge train car for a performance. That evening Bessie and her crew pitch a tent and get ready to perform, poor Emmarene can't afford a ticket so she listens from the outside. In addition to Bessie singing, Emmarene hears the sound of meddling klansmen. Emmarene goes in to warn Bessie of the arising trouble and Bessie stops her show to boldly confront the klansmen. This book could definitely open up a study abou the Ku ...more
babyhippoface
My favorite thing about this book is that it's based on a true story: singer Bessie Smith met a group of Ku Klux Klansmen head-on, challenged them, and survived. Not only did she survive, she stood her ground and the Klan retreated. Although I can't verify it, I'd venture to say that didn't happen very often.

Vibrant illustrations breathe life into the story. Share this with the children in your life, then follow it with a discussion on the importance of standing for what's right even, when it's
...more
Monique Franco
Emmarene is a young girl who is excited to hear that Bessie Smith is coming to town. Despite her enthusiasm to see the singer, she is unable to pay to watch her perform. Yet Emmarene is persistent in her attempts in seeing the performing and decides she will sneak a peek into the tent they traveled with. And it is a good thing. Emmarene is able to warn everyone in the tent that the KKK is coming. The fear fills everyone but Bessie Smith isn't going to take it. This story depicts the courage of a ...more
Becky Birtha
In Bessie Smith and the Night Riders, author Sue Stauffacher changes one significant detail in the true story of the encounter between "Empress of the Blues" Bessie Smith and the Ku Klux Klan-- adding a child, Emmarene Johnson, who witnesses, takes part in, and tells the story. John Holyfield's vivid paintings don't rely on historical details in the backgrounds, but capture Bessie Smith's spirit of vitality. It's a story of danger, bravery and standing up for oneself, to inspire any kid.
Sharon Green
Dec 01, 2008 Sharon Green rated it it was amazing
grades 3-5
historical fiction
civil and human rights/race/segregation
metaphor/simile/rhyme/rhythm/from child's perspective/strong text&illustration interaction/colorful
tension,heroism, and cultural language
standing up for what is right
1927 Harlem Frolics(blues music group) travels the south in their own train and performs. the kkk tries to burn down the performance gathering and Bessie stands up to them. based on true story

Anna
The pictures in this book are beautiful and I really liked the moral of the story but I wish it wasn't so oversimplified. Even though it is a kids picture book I felt like the author could have told more of the "truth" without necessarily doing all of this sugarcoating.
Karen
Love this book - based on a true story that involved singer Bessie Smith facing down the Ku Klux Klan. Wonderful illustrations and an excellent classroom read.
Chelsea Smith
Feb 20, 2016 Chelsea Smith rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful book. The illustrations were beautiful and the true story of Bessie Smith was captured in a kid-friendly way. Great story for read-alouds when studying history and biographies.
Donna-Jo Webster
Children's picture book about how the Empress of the Blues single-handedly fought off the Klan one night during a performance - loosely based on true stories!
Jamie
Mar 02, 2012 Jamie rated it really liked it
This is a great story, based on true events. Lessons can be learned by this one. Bessie Smith is awesome!
Marianne
Marianne rated it really liked it
Apr 12, 2015
Daria
Daria rated it liked it
Feb 08, 2016
Hannah
Hannah rated it liked it
Feb 25, 2010
Kristen Little
Kristen Little rated it it was amazing
Aug 18, 2011
Lenita
Lenita rated it liked it
Mar 22, 2012
Rebecca
Rebecca rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2013
Shannon
Shannon rated it it was amazing
Aug 29, 2011
Elaine Conway
Jan 07, 2016 Elaine Conway marked it as to-read
Shelves: picture
MM's Review:
Blues Music
Meta
Meta rated it it was amazing
Apr 14, 2010
Rivka Abramowitz
Rivka Abramowitz rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2014
Nancy (NE)
Nancy (NE) rated it really liked it
Jan 19, 2010
Emilie
Emilie rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2011
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Jenny rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2016
Sonia Allison
Sonia Allison rated it it was amazing
Mar 05, 2016
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Erin rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2010
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