Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull & Kathryn Hewitt.
Publication Date: September 2011
List Price: $12.99
Review: Lives of the Musicians, written by Kathleen Krull, and illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt, is all about musicians. As it says in the subtitle, this book is about "the good times, bad times, and what the neighbors thought." This book does not have a series, or is part of a series, and it has very many main characters. This book doesn't only tell you about the lives of Clara Schumann, Scott Joplin, Woody Guthrie, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the musicians pictured on the cover. This book tells about the lives of twenty musicians. From Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Frederic Chopin, to Nadia Boulanger, Sergei Prokofiev, and George Gershwin.
Lives of the Musicians describes the lives of these twenty or so musicians, in a humorous, yet informative way. It tells where and when each musician was born, and where and when each musician died. What they wore, where they lived and how they spent their money were described, the book described the messiness of their houses and what specific things they liked to buy just for the fun of it, which was very amusing, because a lot of the time they were crazy. So were so many more very informative and interesting facts about musicians. Each musician was alive in a different time period, like the 1800s, during the Industrial Revolution, or during the Dust Bowl, like Woodie Guthrie. Each had a different style of music, like ragtime, or classical. This book teaches that all of them aroused emotion in their audiences, no matter what time it was or what music style it was.
I liked Lives of the Musicians a lot. Each musician's chapter included a very well-drawn picture, so that I knew kind of how they looked like. The end of each musician's chapter had a paragraph called "musical notes." This paragraph told facts about select musical numbers that the musician preformed or composed. This book kept me engaged, and very interested, because sad things, and usually boring things, would be written in a humorous tone, and I was very entertained. Every boring thing that could have been written in this book was written in such a way that it was funny, because of the authors' word choice. I did not like the random pictures between paragraphs, some were unrelated and they broke the flow of the story to me, because they were so distracting. Another thing I did not like about this book is how dramatic it was, because the dramatic parts of each story didn't fit with the other parts, which were funny and made me laugh. But, in my opinion, this book was an enjoyable book overall, and very factual. I hope that the author and the illustrator team up again to write more informative books.
Review written by Gwen (7th grade student).
We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought) for this review.
Have you read Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought)? How would you rate it?