When The Beat Was Born

DJ Kool Herc and 
the Creation of Hip Hop

This post joins other
kidlit bloggers on the
Nonfiction Monday Roundup
and also joins It's Monday!
What are you reading?

(pub. 8.27.2013)  32 pages

A True Tale with 
A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Laban Carrick Hill
           and Illustrator: Theodore Taylor III
haracter:  DJ Kool Herc

O verview from the jacket flap: 

"DJ Kool Herc lived in the Bronx, where there was a lot of fighting. But he didn't want to fight. He wanted to play music.

DJ Kool Herc had a new way of spinning records. He played the breaks of songs back-to-back so that the music best for dancing could go on and on...

This is the story of DJ Kool Herc. The story of how he came to be a DJ, how kids in his neighborhood stopped fighting in order to break-dance, and how he invented a new kind of music that would change the world.

This is the story of hip hop."

T antalizing taste: 

     "Clive loved music. It didn't matter what kind. Whether it was a wah wah scat of a jiving trumpet, a sorrowful twang of sad voice, or the belting boom of a gospel singer, little Clive loved the way sound thumped and bumped all the way down in his stomach. he loved the way the music made his feet go HIP HIP HOP, HIPPITY HOP."

and something more: In the Author's Note, Laban Carrick Hill writes that in 1980 he had a job that "entailed walking block by block through Harlem and the South Bronx... In the late afternoon, I would approach a corner and hear a loud thumping. The booming would be so deep that it would almost shake the ground... When I came around that corner I saw fifty or so teens dancing some of the most amazing dances I had ever seen. The dances defied gravity and human flexibility. The performances were miraculous feats of physical agility. And they were all done to the beat of records spun by a DJ." As he explained, it was "a youth movement that was the antithesis of gang violence."  Laban Carrick Hill "was so captivated by the music and the dancing that [he] started going to clubs... and heard the story of DJ Kool Herc."  


Shannon said...

I don't normally choose non-fiction to read, but this one sounds intriguing!!

Happy Reading!


Andrea said...

This sounds like a nonfiction book that I need to find. So many students want to research things like this when given a choice and this book could be a great resource/mentor text. Thanks for sharing!

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

What a lovely story Jeanne. I like the concept of an antithesis to gang violence. Plus I am a huge fan of Laban Carrick Hill's artwork. Will be on the lookout for this one. Have a great reading week, Jeanne!

Anonymous said...

Can I just say DITTO to Andrea's comment?! :)

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Shannon, Yes, it's an engaging story with terrific illustrations. I think you'll enjoy it!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

I think you're right Andrea -- a captivating true story with the music/hip hop element will fascinate students.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Myra! Yes, aren't his illustrations wonderful?! I hope you have a great reading week, too! Thanks for stopping by.