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Before There Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George
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Before There Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  68 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The musical superstar of 18th-century France was Joseph Boulogne—a black man. This inspiring story tells how Joseph, the only child of a black slave and her white master, becomes "the most accomplished man in Europe." After traveling from his native West Indies to study music in Paris, young Joseph is taunted about his skin color. Despite his classmates' cruel words, he co ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Schwartz & Wade (first published January 11th 2011)
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Sarah Sammis
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Before There Was Mozart by Lesa Cline-Ransome is a picture book biography of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George. He was the son of a French slave owner and a slave.

http://pussreboots.com/blog/2017/comm...
Carolynne
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Malinda, Abigail, Gundula
Beautifully illustrated and inspirational story of the son of a slave and her wealthy master, a Frenchman. After moving from Guadaloupe to France, Joseph was able to take advantage of his natural musical gifts and became a prominent musician in 18th century Paris and even performed for King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. An accomplished violinist,he also wrote 14 concertos and nine symphonies. Later he came to fight for the abolition of slavery. Unfortunately, he is unknown to many music-lovers ...more
Michelle Vanek
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
The musical superstar of 18th-century France was Joseph Boulogne—a black man. This inspiring story tells how Joseph, the only child of a black slave and her white master, becomes "the most accomplished man in Europe."
Published 2011.
Jen
I write my review as I'm listening to one of Mr. Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George's violin concertos. There are so many people in our history that have been overshadowed or dismissed because of who they are/are not. When will it stop?
Breanna Riley
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lib-428
The story of a boy that defied the odds of his time in order to become great, despite the color of his skin, or where he came from.
Doret
Aug 04, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a biography about Joesph Boulogne a not so well known classical artist. Joesph was born in 1739, his mother was a slave and his father a plantation owner. He was exposed to music at an early age and given violin lessons. When Joesph was nine the three moved to Paris where slavery was banned. Once in Paris, Joesph's father gave him the title, Chevalier de Saint George. To get along in Paris society a title was necessary.

I loved that the chapters were called movements. A favorite fact lea
...more
Rodricucuz Vaughn
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing


1. Genre: Contemporary or Historical– Picture Books

2. The Story of Joseph Boulogne is a true story of a brave boy who overcame racists prejudices and became one of the greatest classical musicians in all of European.

3. critique

a. " Before there Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulogne , Chealier de Saint-George" by Lesa Cline-Ransome is a wonderful historical bio picture book . The illustrations are like works of fine art. The colors are bright and live like. Deep oranges, reds , browns, blue
...more
Nielson
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book shares the unique and interesting life story of Joseph Boulogne. Born to a black slave and a white plantation owner, Joseph's life begins different than most. Fascinated with music his whole life, Joseph moves to Paris with his mother and father at the age of 9. Despite the societal snubs he receives for being a "mulatto", Joseph excelled at the violin and his name became known among the most noble of people. He performed for King Louis and Queen Marie Antoinette and eventually became ...more
Thomas
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The book seems like a true historical story about Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George. Frankly speaking, you can read this picture book easily due to the fact that every picture shows the story. If I were a little child, I would rather to look at these pictures than to read the words in this book. The illustrations are easy to understand and vivid and those of pictures are obviously showed that the event occurred to the renaissance period. Though the book shows the dark side of the human- ...more
Edward Sullivan
A handsomely illustrated introduction to the son of a white plantation owner and black slave who goes from the West Indies to France to become one of the most admired classical musicians and composers of his time. Although he was a contemporary of Mozart and lived a life of amazing achievements (especially given his mixed-race), it seems a little misleading to suggest that his accomplishments in classical music are as significant as Mozart's. Compare this book with another biography for children ...more
Tanya Patrice
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I borrowed this book from the library for my step-son who plays the violin. We read it together and it was a very good book. I would have liked to see just a few references perhaps in an afterwards, just to clarify a few points, such as how did the author know Mozart attended a concert by Bulogne, and was inspired by him.
Kelsey
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Age: 2-3rd grade

Rich watercolor depict Joseph Boulogne's growing love of and expertise with the violin. A unique story of a child born of an African slave and a French plantation owner, he excels against outside persecution in order to conduct his own orchestra and perform in front of the queen and king of France.
Mrs. Tongate
A great read-aloud for secondary students for African American History Month and Arts & Humanities. Artwork is fabulous. Joseph play violin for Queen Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI. Never before had a man of color entered the palace to perform for royalty. His midwife did say, "One day this boy will meet the king and queen of France."
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
An interesting portrayal of the life and music of Joseph Boulogne. Very simplified on some level but a good introduction to his life and also to what it would be like to be the son of a white nobleman and a black slave during that period of time.
Christina
Dec 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Nice biography of this relatively overlooked black musician from the 18th century, the son of a slave and her white master. He grows up to compose operas and conduct orchestras, despite the racial injustices of the time. Absolutely gorgeous illustrations, as always, by Ransome.
Danie P.
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books, y-a
Excellent informational book about a little known composer and very interesting in regards to black/caribbean history.
Dylan Benito
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My kid and I both enjoyed this book. We will definitely be reading more of the author's work.
Stefanie
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
The writing is great but the art was a little stiff.
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