BLACK CAT BONE by J. Patrick Lewis


The Life of Blues Legend Robert Johnson
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 11 & up
Email this review


Lewis offers an unconventional biography of the Mississippi blues legend. Poetry, paintings and the subject’s own lyrics tell the story of troubadour Robert Johnson, who died at the age of 27. He left behind a few photographs, a legacy of 29 recorded songs and a great deal of mystery swirling around his death. The poem “1911” depicts the historic background of his birth, others of the church and the death of his teenage bride. Johnson worked in the cotton fields and escaped into music, moving from harmonica and Jew’s harp to guitar. Lyrics to “Cross Road Blues,” “Sweet Home Chicago” and more tell their own stories. One legend has Johnson poisoned by the jealous boyfriend of a lover; another has him walking off a Greyhound bus and into the engulfing darkness of the night. Kelley’s beautiful brooding illustrations, multicolor monotypes using etching ink on plexiglass, add elegance to the mystique. A foreword and lengthy endnotes provide a more straightforward narrative of his life; a brief bibliography offers only adult resources. A stylish and artful work that will hold appeal for adults as well. (Picture book. 11+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-56846-194-1
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2006


ChildrenTHE POETRY OF US by J. Patrick Lewis
by J. Patrick Lewis
ChildrenLAST LAUGHS by J. Patrick Lewis
by J. Patrick Lewis
ChildrenIT'S NOT THE BABY by J. Patrick Lewis
by J. Patrick Lewis


ChildrenNEXT YEAR by Ruth Vander Zee
by Ruth Vander Zee
ChildrenTHE EMILY SONNETS by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen
ChildrenAND THE SOLDIERS SANG by J. Patrick Lewis
by J. Patrick Lewis