Tuesday, June 19, 2007

2. When Marion Sang by Pam Ryan

Nonfiction book annotation
By: Angela Wilcox

This is a picture book with no page numbers.

Ryan, P. M. (2002). When Marian sang. New York: Scholastic Press.

Author Creditability: Ryan and her illustrator did amazing research to obtain information from Ms. Marion’s real life. All of her information is genuine and has a bibliographic tracking. She is well known for her books that she writes for young people and has won several awards for them. Some of these awards include Pura Belpre Medal, Jane Addams Peace Award, ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, Americas Award Honor Book, Willa Cather Award, and California Young Reader Medal.

Summary: This is a chronological biography of the life of Marion Anderson. It tells of Marion’s love of singing and takes you on a journey of all of her ups and downs that she faced as an African American singer. Marion was faced with a lot prejudice being an African American and was rejected by the people of the U.S. She then moved to Europe to further her career and to learn more about the songs she loved to sing. It was here that she became a famous and well known singer because the people of Europe allowed her to sing without any restrictions, where the people of the U.S. continued to discriminate against her even after her success in the singing career. Eleanor Roosevelt herd about her rejection and took a public stand against Marion’s protestors. Marion then got an invitation to sing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial one Easter Sunday. She sang before a crowd of 75,000 people which begged for more. Over the next 16 years she obtained several awards, medals, and degrees for the accomplishments made in her music career. And finally, her lifetime dream came true when she got to sing at the Metropolitan Opera. Most Important Access Features: The end pages in this book has notes from the author and illustrator in which they provide the reader with background information on their research to write and illustrate the book, why Ryan wanted to write about Marion Anderson, and it highlights several of the places in the book. It also has a chronological time line of important dates in Marian Anderson’s Life.

Description of Illustrations: Selznick submitted the artwork in liquitex acrylics. The artwork in this book has a lot of details and really captures the expressions of the characters in the book. He did a great job of helping the reader be able to hear Marian sing through his artwork.

Grade Level & Uses: This book could be used in any grade level. I would use it to teach about civil rights, activists, equality, and discrimination. It could also be used to teach about different forms of music and singers.

Standards: 1st-4th grade social studies: 5. Integrate, connect, and apply social studies into other subject areas and everyday life.

Related Texts & How Related: This books could be used to teach about African American Artists and what they had to overcome and endure being African American.
The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman
Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra by Andrea Pinkney

William Allen White Children’s Book Award
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor Award
2003 Orbis Pictus Winner
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
ALA Notable Book
2003 NCTE Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts
Worthy of Special Note from Jefferson Cup Award

Personal Response to Book: This book was very moving. It makes you wonder how people can be so full of hate and racist. I had so much compassion for Marion as I read this book. I wanted to change people and the way they rejected her. I wanted to applaud Eleanor Roosevelt for her stand that she took.


I love nonfiction said...

The illustrations in this book are amazing! I love how Selznick uses the stage at the beginning and end of the book--first the stage is set at the beginning of Marion's life and then the end with her on stage. There are often "spotlights" used to focus attention on Marion.

Allison Fielder said...

You should read Russell Freedman's "The Voice That Challenged a Nation." It's the amazing story of Marion Anderson's life and her struggles to have the opportunity to sing wherever she wanted.