Passing the Music Down

Written by Sarah Sullivan, Illustrated by Barry Root

This is a wonderful book inspired by the true story of two musicians- Melvin Wine and Jake Krack- who, despite a 75 year difference in age, performed fiddle music together and became the best of friends.

Age is not a real focus in true friendship. There is much for young people to learn from their elders, and youth has much to give to the old. The fiddle music was what Jake wanted to learn from Melvin, and his parents helped him by taking him to lessons and eventrually moving to a nearby neighborhood. Jake eventually became very proficient and won 1st place in several old time fiddlers competitions. He also kept the promise he’d made to his friends Melvin and Lester McCumbers (another old-time musician) that he’d play the songs the same way they do, as a way of preserving the music.

An added feature of the book is the several websites listed for their music. The sketch-style artwork adds to the country feel of the story. I now need to find the recordings and listen to this music….which is the whole purpose of the book.

Review by Leanna Griffiths, Crestview Elem. Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades K and Up

www.sarahsullivanbooks.com

Passing the Music Down
Written by Sarah Sullivan, Illustrated by Barry Root
Candlewick Press
32 pages
Release Date: May 10, 2011
ISBN: 9780763637538 (hardcover)

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