Rent Party Jazz

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Lee & Low Books, 2001 - Juvenile Fiction - 32 pages
5 Reviews

In New Orleans in the 1930s, young Sonny Comeaux has to work before school to help his mother make ends meet. When Mama loses her job, Sonny is worried. Rent day is coming soon, and if they miss paying by just one day, the landlord will put them out on the street and sell off their belongings.

Sonny wanders sadly through Jackson Square after school one day. His attention is caught by Smilin' Jack, a popular jazz musician. Sonny returns day after day, and soon finds himself explaining his problem to Smilin' Jack. What Smilin' Jack offers Sonny then-how to raise money for the rent while having the world's best party-changes both their lives forever.

Award-winning author William Miller tells his most affecting story yet, accompanied by Charlotte Riley-Webb's brilliantly-colored paintings that perfectly capture the lively rhythms of New Orleans jazz. This is a powerful story of family, friendship, and people coming together to help others in a time of need.

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Review: Rent Party Jazz

User Review  - Jenn - Goodreads

This book is about a boy named Sonny living in the French Quarter. This story discusses rent parties and how they were used to raise money for families that were not well off when it came time to pay ... Read full review

Review: Rent Party Jazz

User Review  - Amy - Goodreads

This was a great book to read in field placement and discuss how people can help each other. This book is historical, colorful, and a great book to read and discuss how people work together in hard times, and how they can change things. Read full review


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About the author (2001)

William Miller is a poet and the author of many children's books. He teaches creative writing and African American literature at York College of Pennsylvania.Leonard Jenkins is a fine artist who has illustrated several children's books, including Walter Dean Myers's Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly. He lives in New York City, where he teaches painting at the School of Visual Arts.

CHARLOTTE RILEY-WEBB is a fine artist whose work has appeared in numerous galleries and exhibitions nationwide. Much of her work as an artist focuses on documenting her African American heritage, and the significance of music to that heritage can be seen in the rhythm, movement, and colors of her pictures. Riley-Webb and her husband live in Stockbridge, Georgia. This was her first children's book.

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