The stunning voice and hard life of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday is revealed through evocative, accessible poetry.
In 1915, Sadie Fagan gave birth to a daughter she named Eleanora. The world, however, would know her as Billie Holiday, possibly the greatest jazz singer of all time. Eleanora's journey to become a legend took her through pain, poverty, and run-ins with the law. By the time she was fifteen, she knew she possessed something that could possibly change her life--a voice. Eleanora could sing. Her remarkable voice led her to a place in the spotlight with some of the era's hottest big bands. Through a sequence of raw and poignant poems, New York Times best-selling and award-winning poet Carole Boston Weatherford chronicles the singer's young life, her fight for survival, and the dream she pursued with passion.
New York Times
best-selling author Carole Boston Weatherford’s
60-plus books include the Caldecott Honor book Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre
, for which she was awarded the Coretta Scott King Author Award and a Sibert Honor; the Newbery Honor winner Box;
and the Caldecott Honor winners Freedom in Congo Square, Fannie Lou Hamer,
. She won a Coretta Scott King Author Honor for Becoming Billie Holiday
. Weatherford teaches at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. Visit cbweatherford.com. Floyd Cooper
(1956–2021) illustrated over 110 books for children, including Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre
by Carole Boston Weatherford, for which he was awarded a Caldecott Honor, the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, and a Sibert Honor. He was also the recipient of the CorettaScott King Award for The Blacker the Berry
; three Coretta Scott King Honors for I Have Heard of a Land
, Meet Danitra Brown
, and Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea
; 10 ALA Notables; and an NAACP Image Award, among other honors. Visit floydcooper.com.
★ "The poetry is rich and evocative. . . . A remarkable tribute well worthy of its subject." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Readers will find a generous assortment of recommended reading and listening at the end of this proud, clear-voiced testimonial." —Booklist
★ "[Weatherford] captures the woman's jazzy, candid voice so adroitly that at times the poems seem like they could have been lifted wholesale from Holiday's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues. . . . This captivating title places readers solidly into Holiday's world, and is suitable for independent reading as well as a variety of classroom uses." —School Library Journal, starred review