Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
"This slim novel strikes a strong chord."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"This complex tale of family and forgiveness has heart.” —School Library Journal (starred review)
"Strong characterizations and vivid musical scenes add layers to this warm family story.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“An appea ...more
Clayton Byrd delights in playing music with his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, and his band of Bluesmen. Though he’s occasionally permitted to join in on his blues harp, Clayton longs for his own twelve-bar solo and to be a “true bluesman among bluesmen.” When tragedy strikes Clayton’s family, his ability to play music is threatened. Burdened by grief and determined to keep the blues in his life, Clayton sets ...more
is this what kids read nowadays? cuz this is chock full with super duper themes dealt with delicacy but also, you know, head-on.
foremost, grief. also, when a bad-ass parent becomes a good grandparent: where do the middle-generation loyalties lie?
also, kids and art and the much underacknowledged place of black music in america and the world.
also, fuck this country's police culture.
I did feel very strongly about one thing. Clayton's mother was *so* frustrating. You can tell she's trying to be a perfect mother, but to me it seemed like she did everything wrong. She didn't respect Clayton's relationship with Cool Papa. It was like she was trying to make Clayton's grieving process more difficult. And then she treated Clayton's falling-asleep-in-school problem like a flaw in Clayton's character. The woman drove me crazy. ...more
Right from the first page, Rita Williams-Garcia weaves the power of blues th ...more
Clayton loves to hang out with his grandfather, Cool Papa, and play the blues at Washington Square Park with his grandfather's band. Clayton desperately wants to have a solo, but Cool Papa tells him he's not quite ready. The two do this whenever Clayton's mother has a long nursing shift, since she is not thrilled with Clayton taking part in these activities. Since Cool Papa frequenly was on the road when she was growing up, Clayton's mother is very bitter about the music ...more
Ugh! This book had so much promise and while I think it ...more
the blues, the tunes from Clayton's blues harp (his harmonica), and Cool Papa's guitar Wah-Wah-nita. This book took me on an emotional journey. It felt like one continuous thread as the reader follows one d ...more
“When no one steps on my dreams there'll be days like this
When people understand what I mean there'll be days like this
When you ring out the changes of how everything is
Well my mama told me there'll be days like this ”
-- Van Morrison (1995)
“It was seven forty-five and the plan was in action. Clayton avoided the main streets and began the three-quarter-mile hike to ...more
Clayton wishes his mother could underst ...more
This book is a sweet story about love and acceptance. It is also a story about coping with loss and grief. Highly recommend.
No sooner is Cool Papa's funeral over than his daughter, Juanita, Clayton's mom, decides to sell all his belongings - records, guitars, clothi ...more
Clayton Byrd is what one might call an "old soul". Despite the fact he's still in elementary school, Clayton has spent the better part of his years with his grandfather--Cool Papa Byrd, a blues musician who plays with a group of other musicians- The Bluesmen. Clayton has played with them on the blues harp (or harmonica), and longs for the time when his blues are "blue" enough to take on a solo. Clayton's life changes drastically when Cool Papa dies in his sleep one night. His mother has little...more
|CLCSC South Bay B...: Clayton Bird Goes Underground VS. First Rule of Punk||1||1||Jan 13, 2018 12:48PM|
"I learned to read early, and ...more