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The Story of the Young Bob Dylan

by Gary Golio ; illustrated by Marc Burckhardt

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: May 3rd, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-316-11299-4
Publisher: Little, Brown

Golio  (Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix, 2010) produces another sensitively written, meticulously researched picture biography, this time capturing the intense ambition of the young Bob Dylan. Born Robert Zimmerman in Minnesota in 1941, Bob's coming of age as a small-town Jewish boy trod the converging paths of the folk, blues and rock scenes. Bob challenged authority by listening to and playing music that bucked his family's and community's status quo. The chance to meet his hospital-ridden hero, Woody Guthrie, forms the text's dramatic hook: Bob hitch-hiked east to connect with his hero and his own complex musical destiny. Golio  acknowledges Dylan's penchant for self-invention without disparaging it; his high-road approach lends the narrative a distinct kind-heartedness. (In a thoughtful note, the author articulates his approach to teasing out what "rang true" from contradictory research on Dylan and his peers.) Burckhardt's accomplished acrylics combine a warm, Americana-soaked palette with heroic compositions: In one spread, a Woody Guthrie record rises like a sun. Quotations sprinkled throughout the text are scrupulously annotated. Well done. (afterword, sources & resources) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)