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Harlem's Little Blackbird by Renee…

Harlem's Little Blackbird

by Renee Watson

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Florence Mills was a Harlem Renaissance singer, who fought against trials and tribulations during a time of segregation. She enchanted many with her beautiful voice and used her talents to help others along the way. It is an inspirational story about how something so simple such as singing can have such a positive effect. This is a great book to use for elementary levels up to about fourth grade. ( )
  breksarah | Apr 24, 2014 |
Florence Mills was born at the turn of the twentieth century and grew up to be a prominent jazz singer. She faced challenges as she was coming into her own as a singer, such as her family and friends not being allowed in to a white-only theater when she was performing one of her first shows. After her family moved to New York and as time went on, Mills became part of Harlem Renaissance and was the first black woman offered a leading role in Ziegfeld Follies, but she turned it down and chose shows that would give other black singers and actors a chance to perform. Harlem's Little Blackbird tells her story in picture book format and is an engaging, vividly illustrated biography. It would work well as an introduction to biographies for late elementary school students, as the text is a bit complex for younger students. Unfortunately, while it includes an author's note about Mills' life and legacy, it does not include any source notes, which would be useful to educators, librarians, parents, and even students who want more information on her life. ( )
  sfhess | Dec 12, 2013 |
Florence Mills was a singer and dance who became internationally known and used her fame to help other people. A true hero. I cannot believe I haven't heard of her before today. I read in the Author's Note that she has never been recorded or taped and I am reallllly bummed out about that. I wish I could hear this remarkable blackbird sing. ( )
  ravjohns | Nov 26, 2013 |
Lovely, affectionate portrait of Harlem Renaissance singer Florence Mills. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
This short nonfiction picture book that will introduce readers to Florence Mills, a popular Harlem Renaissance's singer whose voice and shows mesmerized audiences. Readers benefit from Christian Robinson's illustrations as well as Renee Watson's telling, which includes Florence's own words. Even though we sadly have no recordings of Florence's voice or singing, Watson gives us much to appreciate and discover. ( )
  lillged | Feb 27, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375869735, Hardcover)

Zora and Langston. Billie and Bessie. Eubie and Duke. If the Harlem Renaissance had a court, they were its kings and queens. But there were other, lesser known individuals whose contributions were just as impactful, such as Florence Mills. Born to parents who were former-slaves Florence knew early on that she loved to sing. And that people really responded to her sweet, bird-like voice. Her dancing and singing catapulted her all the way to the stages of 1920s Broadway where she inspired songs and even entire plays! Yet with all this success, she knew firsthand how bigotry shaped her world. And when she was offered the role of a lifetime from Ziegfeld himself, she chose to support all-black musicals instead.

Fans of When Marian Sang and Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa will jump at the chance to discover another talented performer whose voice transcended and transformed the circumstances society placed on her.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:32 -0400)

A tribute to lesser-known Harlem Renaissance performer Florence Mills includes coverage of her youth as a child of former slaves, her singing and dancing performances that inspired songs and entire plays, and the struggles with racism that prompted her advocacy of all-black theater and musicals.… (more)

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