Monday, May 20, 2013

What I love about children's nonfiction books is that they are entertaining as well as informative. Even as an adult reader, I often learn things that I didn't know before.

A perfect example is the nonfiction picture book "Before There Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George," that I'm reading this week. This biography, written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and beautifully illustrated with oil paintings by James E. Ransome, introduces modern-day readers to the life of Joseph Boulogne, a gifted musician and a contemporary of Mozart. Joseph's father was a white plantation owner, but his mother was a slave, so while he grew up with many advantages, he also faced prejudice due to his skin color. As a child, he took violin lessons, and when he later moved to France with his father and mother, he began studying music even more seriously, eventually performing for the French nobility. Don't miss this fascinating true story!

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