CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 25. . . .March 4th, 2011.
Taylor Swift. (Superstars!).
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2011.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-7261-3 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-0-7787-7252-1 (RLB.).
Swift, Taylor, 1989-Juvenile literature.
Country musicians-United States-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-12.
Review by Suzanne Pierson.
Taylor started writing songs soon after starting Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School. She didn’t have many friends at the school and felt like an “outsider” partly because she spent a lot of her time performing in karaoke bars. She called it a “very lonely time in my life.” She used the emotions she felt to write the song “Lucky You,” about a girl who is different and doesn’t fit in.
Like the other books in the “Superstars!” series, the strength of Taylor Swift is the fact that this biography is about a well-known living person. The weakness of the book is that the information is going to go out of date very quickly.
Taylor Swift is a country pop singer and song writer and also a budding actor. The information in this book is well laid out in clear text with many colourful photos showing Taylor as a very young girl, a teen and a young adult.
Taylor Swift, like the other books in the “Superstars!” series, tells readers the basic biographical information and how she got started in show business. The rest of the book goes through her accomplishments on her way to becoming a superstar.
The book ends with a look ahead to what may be in Taylor’s future. The final section is a timeline starting at birth and listing highlights and accomplishments up to 2010.
Also included is a table of contents, simple glossary, a list of books and websites for those who want to find out more, and an index. One feature that I like is the explanation on the Contents page that “[w]ords that are defined in the glossary are in bold type the first time they appear in the text.” For young readers not yet familiar with this convention, this is a clear explanation; for others, it is a good reminder.
More than Taylor Swift from the “Remarkable People” series, which is reviewed elsewhere in this issue of CM, the biographical information in the book from the “Superstars!” series emphasizes the many steps that Taylor and her family took on her rise to stardom. At three-years-old, Taylor was singing the words to The Little Mermaid songs she had just heard. At nine, she starred as Sandy in the local theatre’s production of Grease. Young readers who have an interest in a music or acting career may be inspired by the details of Taylor Swift’s early life.
If you are looking for a biography of Taylor Swift at a slightly lower reading level than the “Remarkable People” series, you may want to consider this book – in paperback.
Suzanne Pierson is a retired teacher-librarian, currently instructing Librarianship courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.
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