When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana

By: Michael Mahin

Illustrator: Jose Ramirez

Carlos Santana loved to listen to his father play el violín. It was a sound that filled the world with magic and love and feeling and healing—a sound that made angels real. Carlos wanted to make angels real, too. So he started playing music.
Carlos tried el clarinete and el violín, but there were no angels. Then he picked up la guitarra. He took the soul of the Blues, the brains of Jazz, and the energy of Rock and Roll, and added the slow heat of Afro-Cuban drums and the cilantro-scented sway of the music he’d grown up with in Mexico. There were a lot of bands in San Francisco but none of them sounded like this. Had Carlos finally found the music that would make his angels real?
Author’s note. Bibliography. Further listening. Full-color illustrations created with acrylic and enamel markers on canvas.

ISBN: 9781534404137

JLG Release: Nov 2018

Sensitive Areas: Racial insensitivity
Topics: Carlos Santana (1947– ) , Rock musicians , Guitars , Mexican life and culture , Biography

$17.05  Member Price

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Awards & Honors

2019 Sibert Award Honor
2019 Pura Belpré Award Honor, Illustration
ALSC Notable Children's Books - 2019
CCBC Choices 2019 Choice: The Arts
Kirkus Best Books, Picture Books - 2018

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, Kirkus Reviews*

Book Details



First Release

November 2018



Dewey Classification

787.87/164092 B

Trim Size

9" x 12"

Page Count


Accelerated Reader

Level 4; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;


Level 610L


Print Book


Hardcover edition



Potentially Sensitive Areas

Racial insensitivity


Carlos Santana (1947– ), Rock musicians, Guitars, Mexican life and culture, Biography,

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