Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Horn for Louis

Kimmel, Eric A. 2005. A Horn for Louis.

A Horn for Louis is a chapter book biography (of sorts) about Louis Armstrong. The story is one of how a young boy living in poverty in New Orleans got his first horn. It's reader-friendly, and the illustrations by James Bernardin make it appealing. (Did I ever tell you about my criteria for choosing a book to do a book report? This is when I was eight. Large print, pictures, and short.) All that being said, I found this one to be a bit lacking. Perhaps if I hadn't just read another biography of Armstrong; perhaps if it was a little less fictional, but why talk of perhaps.

I think you're either a person who likes fictional dialogue inserted into your biographies...or you don't. For those that love nonfiction in and of itself and are more interested in facts than fictional it-could-have-beens then this one might disappoint. But I realize that there are readers who don't mind the cushioning of facts with a nice story. The storytelling is good. There aren't flaws in the writing itself. It's just that there is so very much that I think is fictional in this story that I think it should be classified as fiction not biography.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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