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On Beale Street

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  7 reviews
ROCK AND ROLL IS ABOUT TO CHANGE JOHNNY ROSS' LIFE. Living in Memphis in 1954, Johnny's world is completely segregated -- until he starts sneaking out to Beale Street at night. Beale Street, with its music clubs, is on the wrong side of the tracks, but it's the only place Johnny can hear the blues, which is all he cares about. It's also near Sun Records, where Johnny finds ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 17th 2008 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
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Feb 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Johnny Ross is growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. It is 1954, and he is 15 years old. The Civil Rights Era is in full swing as the black and white communities in the city interact while also being clearly divided. An interest in music definitely seems to bring people of all types together, though, particularly as Elvis Presley, in the early years of his career, seems to draw upon influences from the music of both races.

Johnny has always had an interest in music, and he is really into jazz. Beale
Aug 24, 2010 rated it liked it
On Beale Street by Ronald Kidd is an amazing book set in the time of Memphis’s worst racial segregation. The books main character, Johnny, lives in Memphis TN and witnesses many things, be they good or bad, that changes history forever. He finds himself working for a record company, Sun Records that records Elvis’s first song (hit) song. This new kind of music seems to be creating even more racial tension which sends Johnny out of control.

Music is what seems to be bringing the two races together
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This story featured a true fact on the existing disparity seen between in races according to skin color, between the Negroes and whites. Johnny Ross may be white from his outlook, but he is everyone in the same light. He see different races as one unity, no outcast involved. Negros are his friends, and color is just skin-deep. He has the determination of acceptance, something everyone of us should learn from so that we socially accept everyone regardless of their races, and conjure ourselves int ...more
Lindsey Jones
As a Memphian, I found this to be a fun little read. I love how the author researched a place and time that intrigued him, and he spun in this fictional twist of a story: the story of young Johnny Ross. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, storyline, and of course, all the familiarities of this place I call home.
Tyler M
Sep 09, 2014 rated it liked it
On bale street is a book about a young boy growing up in the 1950s and he becomes friends with a black boy and back then blacks and whites didnt mix. They ended up being good friends but got into a lot of truble with eachother. He also met young else and found out alot about him. He and his black friend did get into some truble but noting they couldnt get out of. On Bale Street is a great read
Aug 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-o-week
eh, i'm never compelled by ronald kidd books, but i keep checking them out. they are just fine, they are easy reads to keep me on my goal for the year, but i'm never all that interested in the historic period. this one did have a fun twist, though. ...more
Jan 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
About a white kid who hangs out at black clubs listening to music, the beginning of rock&roll. He becomes friends with a black kid and finds out they have something in common.
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Ronald Kidd is the author of thirteen novels for young readers, including the highly acclaimed “Night on Fire” and “Monkey Town: The Summer of the Scopes Trial.” His novels of adventure, comedy, mystery, and American history have received the Children's Choice Award, an Edgar Award nomination, and honors from the American Library Association, the International Reading Association, the Library of C ...more

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