How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz

How Jelly Roll Morton Invented JazzWritten by Jonah Winter, Illustrated by Keith Mallett

This story is interesting. The first few pages are kind of like a “what if” scenario, which eventually turns into a story about Jelly Roll Morton. There are some big words that are going to be hard for kids to read. I don’t see it as a book that’s going to check out often unless there is a serious music buff in the school who knows all about jazz. I had no clue who this book was about, and in all honesty, I’m still not real sure who the guy was.

I liked the illustrations, as I thought they were well done. I liked the idea of the story, but I felt like there wasn’t enough background or information about Jelly Roll. It felt like the book was written with the intent of people knowing who Jelly Roll was, would pick up the book.

This book might get people interested in the history of jazz, which may lead them to wanting more books on inventors of jazz music, but it’s not going to be a book that leaves the shelf often.

Review by Allyson Rolfe, Granger Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★½✩ (3.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 2-5

How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz
Written by Jonah Winter, Illustrated by Keith Mallett
Roaring Brook Press
30 pages
Release Date: June 16, 2015

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