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Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the…

Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles

by Susanna Reich

Other authors: Adam Gustavson (Illustrator)

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Who knew? I thought I knew everything about the Beatles---I certainly read enough Sixteen Magazine articles about them in the 60’s---but I find, after reading this picture book, that I really knew very little. All four came from poverty and troubled families and I find that very interesting. All four found their way to the Beatles in a less than direct way and I find that very interesting. All four were gifted in unique ways and I find that very interesting.

So, who knew? Great children’s picture book about four fabulous friends. ( )
  debnance | Sep 27, 2015 |
Richie’s Picks: FAB FOUR FRIENDS: THE BOYS WHO BECAME THE BEATLES by Susanna Reich and Adam Gustavson, ill, Henry Holt, August 2015, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-8050-9458-9

“And now my life has changed in oh so many ways
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.”
-- from the film “Help!” released fifty years ago this month.

“Some people thought success had come overnight to John, Paul, George, and Ringo. But those who knew them saw that their success grew out of childhood dreams--the dreams of kids who first heard rock ‘n’ roll through the crackle and buzz of cheap transistor radios and were electrified by the red-hot sound.”

Already a long-time fan, I was ten when Mom dropped us off in town to see “Help!” on a Saturday afternoon in the summer of 1965. All these years later, I’m still a fan of the music and still fascinated by the Fab Four.

For those of you who know all the words, I also recommend last year’s The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs. I spent days eagerly poring over its nearly-400 pages.

For new, young fans, FAB FOUR FRIENDS is a wonderful introduction to the early lives of the four young men who became The Beatles. This picture book biography provides an introduction to the growing years of each Beatle; how the four met up; the story of their time in Hamburg and then in the Cavern Club; and a brief history of the early days of Beatlemania.

Among her sources, author Susanna Reich has utilized some of my favorite Beatles-related books, including Elizabeth Partridge’s 2005 biography of John Lennon, and Barry Miles’s 1997 bio of Paul McCartney. I really enjoy the way that Adam Gustavson’s illustrations let us see the fashions of those years, along with the classic cars and the phonographs.

“Aunt Mimi wouldn’t let the boys play at her house. John was supposed to do homework and think about his future. ‘The guitar’s all right for a hobby, John, but you’ll never make a living at it,’ she said.”

Music can bring us together across generational lines, cultures, and ideologies. Through their songs, the Beatles had a monumental and lasting impact on the world. FAB FOUR FRIENDS is a terrific addition to the literature about The Beatles. It shows how John, Paul, George, and Ringo each had dreams about making great music. It could inspire some young people to dream about their own possibilities.

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com
Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/ ( )
  richiespicks | Aug 15, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susanna Reichprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gustavson, AdamIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080509458X, Hardcover)

In 1957 in Liverpool, England, a young lad named John Lennon and his band played music at a local church fair. In the audience was Paul McCartney, who liked what he heard and soon joined the group. Paul's friend George Harrison kept showing up at rehearsals until the older boys finally let him in. Eventually they found the perfect drummer, Ringo Starr, and the perfect name: The Beatles.

Told through a lyrical text and stunning paintings, this book spotlights four ordinary boys growing up amid the rubble of postwar England who found music to be a powerful, even life-saving, force.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 14 Aug 2015 08:20:05 -0400)

"Told through a lyrical text and ... paintings, this book spotlights four ordinary boys growing up amid the rubble of postwar England who found music to be a powerful, even life-saving, force"--Amazon.com.

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