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

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Schwartz & Wade Books, 2011 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 40 pages
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 continues to devote himself to his violin, eventually becoming conductor of a whole orchestra. Joseph begins composing his own operas, which everyone acknowledges to be magnifique. But will he ever reach his dream of performing for the king and queen of France? This lushly illustrated book by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome introduces us to a talented musician and an overlooked figure in black history.

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User Review  - TaraKennedy - LibraryThing

This was a lovely biography of a French musician of color. Born the son of a French noble and a slave in the Caribbean, he became a famous musician who inspired Mozart and performed for the King and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - marabie - LibraryThing

This biography includes a lot of vocabulary that might be hard for an elementary student to undrstand. It also uses plenty of musical terms that are unfamilar to most readers. The book contains plenty ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

LESA CLINE-RANSOME is the author of highly acclaimed picture book biographies, including Young Pelé: Soccer's First Star, called "stirring" in a starred review from Booklist; Satchel Paige, an ALA Notable Book about an African American baseball hero; Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist, about an African American cyclist; and Helen Keller: The World in Her Heart. Visit her at www.lesaclineransome.com.

JAMES E. RANSOME is the illustrator of many award-winning titles, including Young Pelé: Soccer's First Star, a finalist for the NAACP Image Awards; Satchel Paige; and Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist. He is also the illustrator of Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building by Deborah Hopkinson, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor title and an ALA Notable Book; Creation, which won a Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration; and Let My People Go by Patricia C. McKissack, winner of an NAACP Image Award. Visit him at www.jamesransome.com.

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