Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Louis Armstrong: Jazz legend

Louis Armstrong: Jazz legend

Elizabeth Raum
For ages 6 to 8
Capstone Press, 2007   ISBN: 978-0736864190

Louis Armstrong grew up loving music and finding ways, despite his family's poverty, to make music. He began with a simple tin horn which he blew to advertise the arrival of his employer's junk wagon. Then, when he was eleven, his employers, the Karnofkys, lent him the money to buy a proper cornet. When Louis was twelve he was arrested for firing a gun into the air. Though it was hard for him to be sent to the Colored Waif's Home, it turned out to be a very useful experience for him because he was allowed to join the home's band.

After he left the home Louis set about building a musical career for himself. Thankfully there were musicians in New Orleans who were willing to help and encourage him, and when Louis was only fifteen he got a job playing for the Kid Ory Band. He also played on riverboats, delighting the riverboat passengers with his "sweet" horn music.

When King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band needed another cornet player King Oliver sent for Louis. And so Louis left New Orleans and went to Chicago. This was just the first of many trips that Louis would make in his long and illustrious musical career.

This well written Fact Finders biography perfectly combines a biographical format with annotated photos, quotes, and fact boxes. The author not only tells the story of Louis Armstrong's life, but she also captures his inherent happy personality and his abiding love of music.

This title includes a "Fast Facts" section, a timeline, a glossary, a list if Internet sites, and more.