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The Voice That Challenged a Nation
ISBN: 9780547480343
Author: Freedman, Russell
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: January 2011
Retail: $10.99    OUR PRICE: $1.99
     You Save 82%
Binding Type: Paperback
Annotation: Carefully researched, expertly told and profusely illustrated with photographs, a moving account of the life of a talented and determined artist who left her mark on musical and social history is drawn from Anderson's own writings and other contemporary accounts. Reprint.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Women
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Cultural Heritage
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Music
Library of Congress Subjects:
Contraltos; United States; Biography; Juvenile literature.
African American singers; Biography; Juvenile literature.
African Americans; Civil rights; Juvenile literature.
Dewey: 782.1/092
LCCN: bl2010034243
Lexile Measure: 1180
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Non-Fiction
BISAC category: JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Women
Target Age Group: Age 9-11
Target Grade: Grade 4-6
Grade level: Grade 4-6
Physical Information: 10.00" H x 8.00" L x 0.50" W
Lexile Level: 1180
Bargain Category: Upper Elementary, Reference, Non-Fiction, Middle School, History, High School, Biographies, Art/Music
Grade level(s): 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q36215
Reading Level: 7.3   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 7.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):
Russell Freedman received the Newbery Medal for LINCOLN: A PHOTOBIOGRAPHY. He is also the recipient of three Newbery Honors, the Sibert Medal, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and was selected to give the 2006 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Mr. Freedman lives in New York City.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Fall)
Freedman's comprehensive account of Anderson's burgeoning career shows the singer's intensive study of and dedication to the classical concert and lieder repertory and presents her accomplishments as both an actor in and an emblem of her times. The many photos are well chosen; appended material includes source notes, a selective bibliography and discography, and an index. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2004 #3)
Freedman begins his biography of the great contralto with a moment of silence--the one that fell just before Marian Anderson began to sing the first note of her Easter Sunday concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939. From there, Freedman goes back to Anderson's childhood, moving quickly but gracefully to focus on her teenage years as a music student and the subsequent unfolding of her career--both setbacks and triumphs. Where other juvenile accounts of Anderson's life have portrayed her as a noble spirituals-singing civil rights heroine, Freedman corrects the balance, showing the singer's intensive study of and dedication to the classical concert and lieder repertory. Along with Arturo Toscanini's famous tribute ("A voice like yours is heard once in a hundred years"), Freedman includes an equally gallant remark by Jean Sibelius ("My ceiling is much too low for your voice"). Because his account of Anderson's burgeoning career is so comprehensive, Freedman gives the familiar events surrounding the Lincoln Memorial concert fresh resonance and drama, and here moves into his forte, showing the accomplishments of an individual as both an actor in and an emblem of her times. While the concert "established the Lincoln Memorial as moral high ground for generations of protesters," Anderson herself had a modest sense of her place in the controversy: "I had become, whether I liked it or not, a symbol, representing my people. I had to appear." The many photographs are well chosen and include concert and family pictures in addition to some examples of program notes for Anderson's recitals. Appended material includes thorough source notes arranged by chapter, a selective bibliography and discography, and an index. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2004 March #4)
Newbery medalist Freedman (Lincoln: A Photobiography) succinctly traces the career of renowned contralto Marian Anderson (1897-1993) from her Philadelphia childhood, when she first revealed her extraordinary voice in church choirs. Throughout, the author describes the racial discrimination Anderson frequently encountered as an African-American artist, as well as her role in the struggle for civil rights, a role defined by her dignified yet determined response to racism. The gifted singer felt the sting of discrimination as a teen, when she tried to apply to a music conservatory and was told, "We don't take colored." Later, as she and her accompanist toured America, they were barred from hotels and restaurants and relegated to the Jim Crow cars of trains. Freedman provides thrilling accounts of Anderson's success and soaring reputation in Europe, where she performed for royalty, often singing in the native language of her audiences and eliciting the highest praise from maestro Arturo Toscanini, who told Anderson hers was a voice "heard once in a hundred years." Perhaps most poignant is Freedman's re-creation of Anderson's 1939 performance before 75,000 fans at the Lincoln Memorial, a concert precipitated by the DAR's refusal to allow a black singer to appear at its Constitutional Hall and accomplished largely through the efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt. Copious quotes from Anderson's autobiography, papers and interviews allow her resonant voice-and personal grace-to animate these pages. Also included are abundant photos, newspaper clippings and reproductions of concert programs. An engrossing biography. Ages 9-12. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2004 July)
Gr 5-9-In the initial chapter, Freedman movingly and dramatically sets the stage for the performer's historic 1939 Easter concert at the Lincoln Memorial. In less than two pages, he captures the huge crowd's eager anticipation, briefly describes the controversy sparked by the Daughters of the American Revolution's refusal to allow Anderson to appear at Constitution Hall, and mentions the significance of the concert. He leaves readers at the moment when "A profound hush settled over the crowd.- she closed her eyes, lifted her head, clasped her hands before her, and began to sing." The author then switches to a chronological account of Anderson's life from her childhood in Philadelphia through her acclaimed U.S. and European concert tours in the 1920s and 1930s. He then gives a fuller account of the famous outdoor concert, which he refers to as a milestone in both musical and civil rights history. Freedman acknowledges that the singer did not set out to be a political activist or a crusader for civil rights. Numerous archival photographs, thorough chapter notes, a selected bibliography of works for both adult and younger readers, and a selected discography of currently available Anderson CDs are included. This inspiring work once again demonstrates Freedman's talent for showing how a person's life is molded by its historical and cultural context. Readers of Pam Munoz Ryan's When Marian Sang (Scholastic, 2002) will appreciate this lengthier account of Anderson's life, as will all readers of biography, U.S. history, and musical history.-Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.