August 19, 2017

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Jamming to Kwame Alexander’s “Solo” | BookExpo 2017

A group of booksellers, librarians, and publishing industry professionals were treated to a night of music and poetry at an event celebrating the Newbery Medalist’s latest work, Solo (Blink, 2017). Held on Wednesday, May 31, in conjunction with the annual BookExpo, the soiree featured performances by Kwame Alexander and Randy Preston. Preston collaborated with Alexander to create original music for the novel-in-verse about an African American teen whose father is a washed up rock star who discovers a family secret that catapults him to Ghana, Africa. The book, coauthored by Mary Rand Hess, is set to publish on August 1. This summer, Alexander and LEAP, an international organization he cofounded, will open a library in Ghana.

The performance took place in the legendary Gibson Guitars Studios in New York City, where guests were surrounded by posters, instruments, and photographs of musicians and recording artists. Alexander performed verses from the books, then he and Hess answered questions about their writing process.

Below is a short clip from the performance.

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Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz (sdiaz@mediasourceinc.com) is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

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