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John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth by…
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John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth

by Elizabeth Partridge

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This book would be great to use in a fifth grade classroom as well as in any middle or high school classroom as well. This book would be great for this wide range of grade levels beucause it covers a topic or individual that many kids will find interesting. This book would be a great way to connect music to history and the Beatles and John Lenon himself had an impact during the 60's unitl hies death. This book would be great for an independent read or as a part of a project in a middle or high school class. In a fifth grade classroom I would use this book as a class raad aloud becuause some of the events in John Lenons life may not be appropriate for these kids or would need to be discussed. ( )
  LRetzlaff | Apr 11, 2016 |
If you’re an avid fan of John Lennon or the Beatles, this book is full of intriguing and interesting information to learn about. Great read! I’ve read many Beatles biographies, and this one is in me top 5. The reason I selected this book is because I’m a huge fan.
  edspicer | Nov 20, 2012 |
It's a nice biography. I thought it presented his life in a fluid, fast a reasonble way. I kept picking it up whenever I had time to read a bit more. A few times an excessive use of opinion felt a bit awkward, but that's okay to do, I guess.
3Q, 3P; Cover Art: Awesome!
This book is best suited for middleschoolers on up.
It was selected due to an enjoyment of biographies, the constant use of pictures, and being a fan of John Lennon.
Grade (of reviewer): 10th
AT-AHS-NC
  edspicer | Feb 17, 2011 |
An uncomplicated story of a very complicated man pared down into pictures and essential information. ( )
  kathymckim | Nov 10, 2010 |
Richie's Picks: JOHN LENNON: ALL I WANT IS THE TRUTH by Elizabeth Partridge, Penguin/Viking, October 2005, ISBN: 0-670-05954-4

"For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them"
--In My Life

"In an interview with RKO radio network just six hours before his death, John spoke about the opening up that had occurred during the sixties. 'The thing the sixties did,' he said, 'was show us the possibility and responsibility that we all had. It wasn't the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.' "

For me, the possibilities began at my cousin Pam's house on one of those Sundays when all the Sicilians (Mom's family) got together "up the Island" for an afternoon and evening of lasagne, cannolis, conversation, and booze. It was the end of 1963, I was eight, and President Kennedy had been murdered just a few weeks earlier.

Eleven year-old Pam told me she had this new record I had to hear. (As I had no older siblings and she was the cousin closest in age to me, she played the big sister role up through college.)

I stood there as Pam turned up the volume and dropped the needle. It was a 45 of I Want to Hold Your Hand b/w I Saw Her Standing There.

One effect of hearing that record was that for the next dozen years, just like Pavlov's dog, I would drop everything when Pam told me to come listen to a new record. Another result is that I would never in a million years have been able to bring up an image of the house that Pam moved out of more than forty years ago, if it weren't for recalling so vividly that pivotal experience from my childhood.

"But now these days are gone and I'm not so self-assured
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors."
--Help!

But much more significantly, I wouldn't be who I am today if it were not for the influence of John Lennon's words and actions upon my life. Being who he was, his speaking out in opposition to the Vietnam War was the first voice in opposition that really caught my attention and helped lead to my life of activism and obsession with justice.

And, hey, you just have to look at me. Forty years after that Sunday at Pam's, twenty-five years after the dream of ever getting to see The Beatles onstage ended forever, thirty-five years after crying for an hour, at age fifteen, when Mom ordered me (once again) to get a haircut before the Sicilians came over for Thanksgiving dinner, my appearance is still ruled today by the long hair I longed to have after first seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show.

"Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box they
Tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe"
--Across the Universe

Thus, it is not surprising that I have read a good assortment of books about The Beatles.

"Will you ever look at him, sitting there wid his hooter scraping away at that book!"
--Paul's grandfather (Wilfrid Brambell) in A Hard Day's Night

I picked up an advance reading copy of JOHN LENNON: ALL I WANT IS THE TRUTH at the beginning of Book Expo last week in New York City. I then stood quite contentedly on interminably long autographing lines all weekend, waiting to get signed books from the likes of Maurice Sendak, Barbara Boxer, Ben Saenz, and Carl Hiaasen. I waited contentedly, oblivious of my surroundings, because I had my face buried in a bloomin' book.

In fact, Elizabeth Partridge has written the definitive book on the life of John Lennon. And I don't just mean just the definitive "book for teens," even though it is absolutely a YA with it's in-depth look at John's adolescence, its multitude of uncensored quotes from the Fab Four, and it's consistently honest look at the sex and drugs (not to mention the rock and roll). Partridge reveals the intimate stories of Lennon and McCartney, the early Beatles, and Yoko without glossing over any of the multitude of warts.

"Ah, people asking questions, lost in confusion
Well I tell them there's no problem, only solutions."
--Watching the Wheels

And then there are the photos.

The evening after returning from New York, Shari and I met with one of our Best Books for Young Adults teen groups in their school library. I walked over to the shelves, located a copy of RESTLESS SPIRIT: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DOROTHEA LANGE, explained Elizabeth Partridge's connection to the famed photographer, and pointed out that Partridge was obviously going to insure that the photos in the biographies she wrote would be both excellent photos and perfectly reproduced photos.

(If I weren't already confident of that, Partridge's publisher teased me a couple of months ago by mailing me a "partial blad showing selected pages" that reveals the oversized dimensions and the gorgeous photos that are literally suitable for framing.)

JOHN LENNON: ALL I WANT IS THE TRUTH will henceforth serve as my Exhibit #1 on why YALSA should get to work on creating an informational book award to parallel ALSC's Sibert Medal.

"So long ago
Was it in a dream, was it just a dream?
I know, yes I know
Seemed so very real, it seemed so real to me."
--#9 Dream

When I revealed to those BBYA teens on Monday night who the subject of Partridge's new biography was, they let out a spontaneous cheer. You may think I'm a dreamer, but as I gazed out at those young, enthusiastic faces I could imagine the potential of the sixties, which Lennon was such a pivotal force in creating, carrying forth and coming to fruition through this younger generation.

Within its beautiful package, JOHN LENNON: ALL I WANT IS THE TRUTH provides the seeds, the instructions, and the cautionary statements for enacting that change.

Richie Partington
http://richiespicks.com
BudNotBuddy@aol.com ( )
  richiespicks | May 22, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670059544, Hardcover)

Award-winning biographer Elizabeth Partridge dives into Lennon’s life from the night he was born in 1940 during a World War II air raid on Liverpool, deftly taking us through his turbulent childhood and his rebellious rock’n’roll teens to his celebrated life writing, recording, and performing music with the Beatles. She sheds light on the years after the Beatles, with Yoko Ono, as he struggled to make sense of his own artistic life—one that had turned from youthful angst to suffocating fame in almost a split second.

Partridge chronicles the emotional highs and paralyzing lows Lennon transformed into brilliant, evocative songs. With striking black-andwhite photographs spanning his entire life, John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth is the unforgettable story of one of rock’s biggest legends.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:32 -0400)

The story of one of rock's biggest legends, from his birth during a 1940 World War II air raid on Liverpool, through his turbulent childhood and teen years, to his celebrated life writing, recording, and performing with the Beatles and beyond.

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