Rock, Rosetta, Rock! Roll, Rosetta, Roll!: Presenting Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Godmother of Rock & Roll

HarperCollins. Feb. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062994387.
Gr 1-4–Rosetta Tharpe was an American singer and guitarist who rose up in gospel music and broke into the mainstream of American music in the 1930s and 1940s. She influenced many well-known musicians, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Little Richard, and Aretha Franklin. Told in free verse, this picture book biography chronicles her life, from her upbringing in rural Cotton Plant, AR, to accompanying her preacher mother to Chicago, to making a life for herself in New York City. She sang in churches and nightclubs, including the Cotton Club and the Apollo in Harlem. Christie’s vibrant illustrations bring the story to life with movement and punch, matching Tharpe’s personality. A time line in the back matter further fleshes out her personal life and career.
VERDICT A fresh and female addition to the music legend canon, just in time for Black History Month displays. Purchase where picture book biographies, especially those about musicians/rock history, circulate well.

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