Found this in my email, new book's first review. And it's... good!!!
So here's me, shouting it from the rooftops...
From the March 15 issue of Kirkus Reviews:
RAGGIN' JAZZIN' ROCKIN'
A History of American Musical Instrument Makers
Author: VanHecke, Susan
Review Date: March 15, 2011
Price ( Hardcover ): $17.95
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-59078-574-4
This absorbing history examines the lives and work of eight innovators in the design and manufacture of musical instruments. From Avedis Zildjian, who brought his family’s centuries-old cymbal-making business from Turkey to Boston, to Robert Moog, whose electronic synthesizer rocked the music world, VanHecke’s portraits celebrate the inquisitive scientific tinkering, dedication to craft and business moxie that rendered Steinway pianos, Hammond organs and Fender guitars both household names and performers’ favorites. The writing’s freshest when VanHecke changes it up with bits of cultural trivia, like Beatles lore. (It’s dullest when awash in the minutiae of cousins, marriages and succession.) Examining the effect of the Great Depression, the World Wars and immigration on these family businesses vibrantly contextualizes those issues for kids. Numerous well-captioned photos and period illustrations, sidebars and clearly labeled diagrams of the musical instruments expertly extend the text. Students and teachers of music are the natural audience for this unique treatment. (introduction, endnote, quotation sources, bibliographies, websites, photo credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)
Raggin' Jazzin' Rockin' has been the most challenging book of my career to research, write, and assemble – about a zillion moving parts – so a wonderful review like this one really means the world!
Thanks so much, Kirkus!
Causes Susan VanHecke Supports
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
National Trust For Historic Preservation