Kirkus Reviews QR Code
HONKY-TONK HEROES AND HILLBILLY ANGELS by Holly George-Warren

HONKY-TONK HEROES AND HILLBILLY ANGELS

The Pioneers of Country and Western Music

By Holly George-Warren (Author) , Laura Levine (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: June 9th, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-19100-3
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

A companion volume to Shake, Rattle and Roll: The Founders of Rock and Roll (2001) presents brief biographical sketches of some 18 of the greats of Country and Western music, from the Carter Family to Johnny Cash. George-Warren’s engaging text packs a lot of information into a small space, detailing in broad arcs the movements of a given performer’s career, including a song title or two, and indicating how that particular performer influenced those who followed. Although some of the dicier aspects of some performers’ lives are shown the light of day—Hank Williams’s drug use, George Jones’s alcoholism—these are given only glancing attention, the focus firmly on the music. Levine’s bright, folk-arty illustrations are particularly suited to her subject here, presenting performers in homespun fashion. While the text sometimes gets a little heavy on superlatives—“most successful,” “greatest,” “top-selling”—with the effect that the sketches are not as individual as one might hope, this is, on the whole, a well-presented selection that will give interested children a solid introduction to the form and its shapers. (Picture book/biography. 8-12)