In 1909 Dr. Laurence Clifton Jones opened a special home for African American orphans in Mississippi called Piney Woods Country Life School. There, students worked hard on their studies, and no one worked harder than the young musicians who played in the Sweethearts, the school's all-girl swing band. Their music had rhythms and melodies that got people dancing!
When the Sweethearts left Piney Woods, they moved to Washington, D.C., to try to make it to the big-time in an era when integrated musical groups were practically unheard of. It wasn't always easy, and it wasn't always safe, but the talented Sweethearts of Rhythm ultimately became an international sensation.
The rhythmic text and exuberant illustrations celebrate these courageous musicians who chipped away at racist and sexist barriers, and whose music reminded audiences how great it feels to be alive.
THE REVIEWS ARE IN
"Chalky, jewel-toned paintings create an atmosphere of warmth and intimacy. A heartening tribute to a group of pioneering, dedicated musicians.—Publishers Weekly
"An inspirational tale to be lauded during curriculum units on women's, African American, and jazz history."—School Library Journal
Read an exclusive Q&A with author Karen Deans and illustrator Joe Cepeda!
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