Review! Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
By Rita Williams-Garcia
176 pages – ages 8+
Published by Amistad on May 9, 2017

Synopsis From Publisher- “Clayton feels most alive when he’s with his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, and the band of Bluesmen—he can’t wait to join them, just as soon as he has a blues song of his own. But then the unthinkable happens. Cool Papa Byrd dies, and Clayton’s mother forbids Clayton from playing the blues. And Clayton knows that’s no way to live.

Armed with his grandfather’s brown porkpie hat and his harmonica, he runs away from home in search of the Bluesmen, hoping he can join them on the road. But on the journey that takes him through the New York City subways and to Washington Square Park, Clayton learns some things that surprise him.”

What I Thought- This was a book that makes you stop and think. The plot is simple, but there is a lot of things to ponder about family, discovering the world, yourself, and legacies. I like that the book teaches kids a little bit about basic blues music and the history and culture of blues. Williams-Garcia breathed life into her characters in a way that the reader really connects with them. She describes the gritty trail Clayton travels with such details I could envision each step. I personally appreciated this story as it touched many chords within me. This was a book I enjoyed reading, and I believe others will too!

I give this book five out of five bookworms.

Categories: Age 6-9

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12 replies

  1. Thanks for this review, it does make me want to find out more about the blues and this story!

  2. I’m looking forward to reading Rita Williams-Garcia’s latest book. I loved One Crazy Summer. Great review, Erik!

  3. Nice review, Erik. I recommended this one in July. It’s a short but lovely little book.

  4. Sounds great. Must add it to my list 🙂

  5. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I have read other books by this author and enjoyed them. Great review of her latest read. I am definitely adding it to my list. Awesome to know that this book struck a chord with you. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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