What Is Rock and Roll? – by Jim O’Connor, illustrated by Gregory Copeland



What Is Rock and Roll?
(What Is…?) – by Jim O’Connor, illustrated by Gregory Copeland, Penguin Random House, (9780451533838), 2017.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5:  (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre: Non-fiction

What did you like about the book? As usual in the What Is…? series, the topic, rock and roll, is covered in about a hundred pages… a challenging proposition, to say the least. The first two chapters, describing the roots of rock and roll and Motown leading up to and including Elvis, verge on being just a recitation of names. However, the book hits its stride in the third chapter, a substantial one about the Beatles. Following chapters introduce the Beach Boys, acid rock, the Seventies, and Bruce Springsteen while final chapters discuss grunge and Michael Jackson. The expected black and white pencil sketches appear liberally throughout and a cluster of black and white photos appears at the end.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend to third to sixth graders who would enjoy reading about the history of rock and roll in an extremely succinct format.

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

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve with books about the history of rock and roll in 781.66.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No.

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

Date of review:  9/10/17

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