How Sweet the Sound: The Story of “Amazing Grace”

By: Carole Boston Weatherford

Illustrator: Frank Morrison

This picture book biography of John Newton, the man behind the hymn “Amazing Grace” is also an ode to the song.

ISBN: 9781481472067

JLG Release: Jun 2018


Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas

$12.75  Member Price


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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

On board the slave ship Greyhound is rough-and-tumble British sailor John Newton, who, caught in a terrible storm and fearing for his life, recalls the events that brought him to this harrowing moment. Upon safely reaching land, Newton devotes himself to God and turns his life around. Later in life, Newton becomes a minister, speaks out agai On board the slave ship Greyhound is rough-and-tumble British sailor John Newton, who, caught in a terrible storm and fearing for his life, recalls the events that brought him to this harrowing moment. Upon safely reaching land, Newton devotes himself to God and turns his life around. Later in life, Newton becomes a minister, speaks out against slavery, and pens the now-famous lyrics to “Amazing Grace.” From here, Weatherford traces the evolution of the hymn, as it makes its way to North America, finds a tune, continues to grow, and becomes a beacon throughout U.S. history—from a cotton plantation to the Trail of Tears, through the Civil War, the civil rights movement, and on to Barack Obama’s presidency. The book then concludes with the lyrics to the song. Written in spare rhyming verse, every word is deliberate, and every line carefully crafted to maintain the meter, resulting in a striking trochaic rhythm that begs to be read aloud, but may also leave young readers that lack historical context confused about the time line of events; an author’s note at the back of the book helps to fill in some of the details missing from or merely alluded to in the text. What truly makes the book stand out are Morrison’s stunning oil paintings, which vividly bring to life Newton’s personal experiences and moments of larger historical importance. Suggestions for further reading, listening, and viewing are also included. VERDICT A richly illustrated, if sparely written, account of the history and legacy of “Amazing Grace” for medium to large collections.—Lauren Strohecker, McKinley Elementary School, Elkins Park, PA

Book Details

ISBN

9781481472067

First Release

June 2018

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

11" x 11"

Page Count

48

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.3; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level AD600L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Atheneum

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics


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