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ELLA FITZGERALD by Tanya Lee Stone Kirkus Star

ELLA FITZGERALD

Up Close

By Tanya Lee Stone

Age Range: 11 & up

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-06149-5
Publisher: Viking

Explaining that the story of her subject’s life was often filled with misinformation, Stone uses extensive resources to set the record straight. In the process, she offers a lovely view of one of music’s finest contributors, whose career came about by chance but was maintained and nurtured by those who realized the gift she possessed. Stone’s insertion of quotes, news clippings and information from biographies for adults, all very carefully sourced in the backmatter, adds humor, insight and spirit to an already lively subject. This is also a remarkable look at race relations in this country during the early years of Fitzgerald’s career and on into those times when she was at her peak in popularity. Indeed, it is hard to read many of these stories without being furious, while at the same time cheering on those who fought so hard for what others wanted to deny. Readers will come away knowing much more about jazz history than they would have expected and will find it hard to stop reading about this fascinating woman. (source notes, bibliography, index, author’s note) (Biography. 11+)