Who Is Stevie Wonder? – by Jim Gigliotti, illustrated by Stephen Marchesi

51ggj3kdful  Who Is Stevie Wonder? (Who Is…?) – by Jim Gigliotti, illustrated by Stephen Marchesi, Grosset and Dunlap, (9780399542435), 2016.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5:  4

Genre:  Non-fiction, Biography

What did you like about the book? Stevie Wonder, a blind musician with a trademark smile that shows how much he loves what he does, overcame a number of disadvantages to even learn how to play an instrument. Despite this, his talent was so prodigious that he first auditioned and was signed to a recording contract at age eleven! By definition, Stevie Wonder’s story is also the story of the rise of Motown and r&b music. Concepts that readers might not know (Braille, synthesizers, Billboard charts) are explained in one to two page inserts.  At the end, there are two timelines: Stevie’s life and major world events from the forties to the present. A Bibliography completes the offering. Like the rest of this series, this book conveys a lot of information about the subject though the total length is just over one hundred pages and illustrations are all black-and-white pencil sketches.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Give this to young people in third to sixth grade with an interest in music and to those who like to read about real people successfully overcoming obstacles in their life.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries, middle school libraries, and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve with your other biographies.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes, if you like to read quick narrative non-fiction stories.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  12/3/16

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