Born to Swing: Lil Hardin Armstrong’s Life in Jazz

By: Mara Rockliff

Illustrator: Michele Wood

This book captures the story of "Hot Miss Lil" Hardin Armstrong, legendary jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader—and a female pioneer on the music stage. “About Lil.” Suggestions for listening. Time line. Author’s note. Bibliography. Historical photographs. Full-color illustrations done in acrylic paint.

ISBN: 9781629795553

JLG Release: Mar 2018


Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas
Topics: Lil Hardin Armstrong (1898–1971) , Memphis, Tennessee , Organs , Pianos , Female jazz musicians , Chicago, Illinois , The Jazz Age , Louis Armstrong (1901–1971)

$12.75  Member Price


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Awards & Honors

CCBC Choices 2019 Choice: The Arts
NYPL Best Books for Kids - 2018
Nonfiction Detectives Best Nonfiction - 2018

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Chronicling the life of Lil Hardin Armstrong, the illustrations and first-person text showcase an exuberance evident in the life of “Miss Lil,” who pioneered not only female musicianship in jazz, but jazz itself. In the author’s note, Rockliff mentions Hardin was working on an autobiography at the time of her death (at the piano, Chronicling the life of Lil Hardin Armstrong, the illustrations and first-person text showcase an exuberance evident in the life of “Miss Lil,” who pioneered not only female musicianship in jazz, but jazz itself. In the author’s note, Rockliff mentions Hardin was working on an autobiography at the time of her death (at the piano, no less), which has since disappeared. Readers will learn of Hardin’s childhood spent in Memphis where she was attracted to swing even as she trained as a classical pianist and played for services at her church. The “Jazz Wonder Child” dances through every page, a lively yellow-clad figure swirling and swinging through her move to Chicago, rise to jazz fame, and meetings with such famous folks as Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong (who would later become her husband). Wood relies on yellow to draw the eye to important features on each page and to drench the book in the fervor and delight Lil Hardin clearly felt for music. A “Listen to Lil” section provides a suggested song list for readers curious to hear more. VERDICT Suitable for read-alouds at storytimes or school projects for the upper grades.—Chelsea Woods, New Brunswick Free Public Library, NJ

Book Details

ISBN

9781629795553

First Release

March 2018

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

781.65/4092 B

Trim Size

Page Count

32

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.5; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.2; Points: 3;

Lexile

Level 670L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Calkins Creek

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics

Lil Hardin Armstrong (1898–1971), Memphis, Tennessee, Organs, Pianos, Female jazz musicians, Chicago, Illinois, The Jazz Age, Louis Armstrong (1901–1971),

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