Roxanne Hsu Feldman's Reviews > Becoming Billie Holiday

Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Boston Weatherford
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's review
Sep 28, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: 4-6grade, 6-8grade, biography, poetry
Read in September, 2008

This collection is definitely a bit uneven. Not all poems are superb but there are enough with poetic success to pull me through, with interest and enjoyment. Unfortunately, nice lines like this is not commonplace for this title: p. 49 a suitcase full of hard luck

There are, in my view, too many ready-made phrases (cliches) that show a certain amount of laziness on the poet's part like "I was the cat's meow." (p. 41 bottom of page) or "hot enough to fry an egg" (p.45).

I did feel that I got to know who Billie Holiday was a little more but it seems that one can get all the "info" in a short entry in a collective biography book -- and there just not enough looking into her feelings and soul.

Some of the illustrations do nothing to illuminate or expand the text. At times they even diminish the impact. For example, on pages 36 and 37, the picture depicts the moment before the rape. It does not have much intensity and I simply can't understand why depicting this particular moment...

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