________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 22. . . .June 26, 2009

cover

The History of Rock. (Crabtree Contact).

Steven Rosen.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3844-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-3823-7 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Rock music-History and criticism-Juvenile literature.
Rock musicians-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-8 / Ages 7-13.

Review by Erin Walker.

*** /4

   
cover

The History of Pop. (Crabtree Contact).

Ben Hubbard.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3843-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-3822-0 (RLB).

Subject Heading:
Popular music-History and criticism-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-8 / Ages 7-13.

Review by Erin Walker.

*** /4

   
cover

The History of Hip Hop. (Crabtree Contact).

Melanie J. Cornish.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2009.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-3841-1 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-3820-6 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Rap (Music)-History and criticism-Juvenile literature.
Hip-hop-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-8 / Ages 7-13.

Review by Erin Walker.

*** /4

   

excerpt:

Throughout rock's history, one group of musicians influenced the musicians that came after them.

But who are the most important musicians in rock's history?

Rock music fans will never stop arguing about this! (From
The History of Rock.)

 

The History of Rock, The History of Pop, and The History of Hip Hop are three new titles in the "Crabtree Contact" series of high interest, low vocabulary books designed for reluctant readers.

     The History of Rock, by award-winning music journalist and accomplished songwriter Steven Rosen, guides readers through the essential history of rock. Seven short chapters chronicle the evolution of rock through the decades, with an emphasis on how the music of the past influences new musicians. The book begins with a look at rock music's early blues and country roots, and moves through the 1950s and 60s (the golden age of rock and roll), the heavy metal of the 1970s, the glam metal of the 1980s, the1990s grunge era, all the way to the rock music of today. Legendary musicians and bands are highlighted throughout, including Elvis Presley, Jimmy Hendrix, and the Beatles. The author's descriptions of the different types of rock music are especially well done. Rosen defines each genre in straightforward and accessible terms, generally avoiding the use of technical musical terminology.

      The History of Pop attempts to define what pop music is and explores some of the major artists and genres which have topped the charts over the years. Six chapters cover the evolution of pop music by decade, from the rise of pop sensations Elvis Presley and the Beatles in the 1950s and 60s, to the disco stars of the 1970s, '80s superstars like Madonna and Michael Jackson, through the boy bands and girl groups of the '90s, to the pop divas who dominated the pop scene in the new millennium. The impact of technology and reality TV on pop music is also examined. Here, Leona Lewis, winner of the British TV show, The X Factor is featured, though perhaps a reference to American Idol would have had more relevance for North American readers.

      The History of Hip Hop, by seasoned hip hop journalist Melanie J. Cornish, walks readers through the essential history of hip hop, from the street corner to the stage. Over four chapters, readers learn about the birth of hip hop, the first MCs and DJs, and groundbreaking hip hop artists like Run-DMC and Queen Latifa. Aspects of hip hop culture, such as break dancing and graffiti, are also examined. Although the book briefly mentions 'gangsta rap' and its relationship to gang life and violence, for the most part, The History of Hip Hop steers clear of the more controversial aspects of the hip hop, such as explicit language and lyrics promoting drug and alcohol use.

      The short and accessible text, interesting sidebars, and terrific full colour photographs of famous bands and musicians are sure to appeal to the books' target audience of reluctant readers. Each 32-page volume concludes with a glossary of Need-to-Know vocabulary, a short list of recommended websites, and an index. These brief yet engaging introductions to rock, pop, and hip hop would be good additions to a classroom or library.

Recommended.

Erin Walker is a Masters of Library and Information Studies candidate at the University of Western Ontario. She is currently completing a co-op term with the Calgary Public Library.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

NEXT REVIEW | TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - June 26, 2009.

AUTHORS | TITLES | MEDIA REVIEWS | PROFILES | BACK ISSUES | SEARCH | CMARCHIVE | HOME