Juba! 208p. chron. reprods. ebook available. illus. HarperCollins/Amistad. Oct. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062112712.
Gr 6 Up—William Henry Lane, also known as Master Juba, was a famous dancer in America and England in the 1840s. Myers's final novel uses historical sources to piece together a picture of what his life might have been like. Juba grew up a free black man in the Five Points neighborhood of New York City, and his dancing was influenced by the Irish style. He encountered Charles Dickens after an early performance, who subsequently reviewed the dance in his American Notes. Historical images are provided throughout. Unfortunately, the author's choice to make this a first-person narrative makes some aspects of the exposition problematic. Young readers may not understand what minstrel shows were, and the context of the narrative is inadequate to convey why Juba would have been adamant about staying away from this form but ultimately began to participate in it. Richer back matter would have enhanced the overall quality of the book.
VERDICT This will have appeal to readers who are interested in the history of dance or the antebellum period of American history.

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