Kidd, Ronald. On Beale Street.

Author:Rosser, Claire
Position:Young adult review - Brief article - Book review

KIDD, Ronald. On Beale Street. Simon & Schuster. 256p. c2008. 978-1-4169-3387-8. $16.99. J S

It's Memphis, 1954, and Elvis Presley is just recording his first song. The narrator is Johnny Ross, slightly younger than Elvis, drawn to Beale Street blues (the music of the black community in Memphis). He is working as a janitor at Sun Records, and a witness to Elvis's first success. There is a movement, led by Elvis and Sun Records, to produce new music, a combination of white and black traditions. Johnny himself in the weeks of this novel has his own initiation into the severity of the black/ white divide. His curiosity and courage lead him to shocking...

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