Sunday, July 20, 2008

Harlem Stomp!

1. Bibliography: Hill, Laban Carrick (2003). Harlem stomp: a cultural history of the harlem renaissance. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group.

2. Genre and Awards:
Young Adult/Non-Fiction
National Book Award Finalist

3. Synopsis:
This is a volume studying the events of the Harlem Renaissance. Laban Carrick Hill’s carefully researched book offers pictures, excerpts from music and poetry, timelines, letters and many other multi-media examples of one of the most important events in American history.

4. Characters:
As this book is non-fiction, there are really no characters. However, the book details the struggles and successes of many great Harlem Renaissance icons, like Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, Zora Neal Hurston, Duke Ellington, Claude McKay, James Weldon Johnson, and many others.

5. Plot:
The book is organized in a rough time line, but also thematically by major movements of the Harlem Renaissance, such as art, music, literature and other cultural movements.

6. Needs of adolescents:
I loved this book. I think the Harlem Renaissance is an overlooked part of American history in many classrooms. Also, this book is easy to read and could be a great bridge into the scary prospect of research.

7. Possible Classroom Uses:
I can see using this book to connect young readers to texts by researching events and people. It could also connect music and engage thinkers in the ways in which history, music, literature and art are all connected.

8. Appropriate Age Range
This book would be an asset for middle, junior and high school students.

9. Personal Reactions:
When I picked this book up, I was enthralled by the sheer beauty of it. I couldn’t wait to dive in. I learned many things about some of my favorite authors and art. I found it extremely readable, and not nearly as scary as other research materials. My mind was filled with ways to use this book as a jumping off place for some of my favorite literature.

1 comment:

john oberski said...

I really appreciate your enthusiasm and organization in reviewing your books. You inspire me to follow some of your recommendations and straightforward stylistic strategies. Right now I am reading "Bronx Masquerade" by Nikki Grimes, in which a group of urban high-schoolers are inspired by their study of Harlem Renaissance poetry to write and perform their own poetry in English class. The book alternates between character-focussed narratives, these characters' poems and the reaction of other characters to the poems. So far it is incredible, and I can't help but think that this book would pair very nicely with "Harlem Stomp" in either an English or History or Bothish class.
I probably won't post my review for "Bronx Masquerade" until later this weekend, but check it (the review or the book) out in your free (ha) time.
Thanks- John O'Berski