êIt was 40 years ago this October that the rock singer died from an overdose of alcohol and drugs at the age of 27. From interviews with her friends and letters that Joplin wrote home, Angel pieces together her subject’s short life, contrasting her conservative upbringing in a small Texas town with the wild 1960s, vividly portrayed both in descriptions and in excellent-quality, full-color and black-and-white photos on almost every page. Joplin’s husky, passionate singing voice was appreciated by other musicians and by her audiences. She loved to sing the blues with the misery and pain that dominated the lyrics. Bessie Smith and Odetta were her heroines. The author points out that despite the fame and fortune that she achieved, Joplin was basically insecure and in need of acceptance. This book is well researched with more than 100 notes referring to specific quotes from friends, family, and magazines. Teens will be intrigued by the life of this cult figure. Her memory has been kept alive by her recordings and an off-Broadway show, Love, Janis, based on letters she wrote to family and friends during her career, which continues to be staged throughout the country. –Peggy Fleming, formerly at Churchville-Chili High School, Churchville, NY
Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing; $19.95; OCTOBER; 978-0-8109-8349-6
September 29 The Little Read Book 7 pm
June 18-19 Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books
October 16-18 Texas Book Festival
Orlanda, FL November ALAN Workshops
Monday, November 22, 12:30-1:10
“Looking for the Readl Me Through teh LIves of Others: The Role of Biography, History and Memoir in the Search for Self.”
Please stay tuned for more listings and events!
Now I’m off to dance a star-filled happy dance!
I know, I know. I KNOW the social networking rules — if you’re going to blog, you need to do it once a week to gather a following. But I still feel like I’m sending echoes out to space most of the time. It’s just the way blogging is when I’m sitting all alone in my living room at my computer without another person speaking back at me.
Yet I’ve promised students I’d post notes on character and voice and tone this week. And I’ve promised SCBWI members I’d include great links. But this week was long and full of meetings and every spare moment seems to be spent everywhere but on a blog entry.
Love to all and good luck!