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The Blues of Flats Brown: 11/03/09
As I often pick books to read on whims, I am often surprised to see very different books by the same author cross my path. As I'm reading a book I will get a nagging sensation that the author's name is familiar. Thankfully between my own record keeping, review writing and of course the internet, I'm better able to draw connections that I couldn't have ten or twenty years ago.
Take for instance Walter Dean Myers. The first book I read by him came to me by happenstance. It was At Her Majesty's Request. It is a biography of an African princess who spent most of her life in England and was by unusual circumstances, a friend of Queen Victoria. How Myers came to learn of her life was just as random a series of events as how his book came to in my to be read pile.
Now I have crossed paths again with Myers, this time through my public library and through Harriet being drawn to books featuring animals. The book we picked was The Blues of Flats Brown.
Although the main character in this book is a blues playing dog, it's obviously an allegory for the slavery roots of blues. The dog escapes from his master and flees to Memphis where he becomes a blues star. From there he goes to New York and in the Big Apple his fame catches up with him. His owner comes to claim his famous dog.
Naturally then the book brought to light questions: questions about music, about right and wrong, slavery and freedom. I've read reviews that suggest the book should be read to older children but my three year old managed to catch many of the important themes that Meyers has woven through his story. She did this while still enjoying the story of a dog who likes to play music.
Comment #1: Thursday, November, 5, 2009 at 01:05:50
This sounds like a fun book.
Comment #2: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 16:17:32
Fun isn't the word I'd use. Bittersweet would be better. It deals with a lot of tough part of recent history but with dogs and humans instead of white masters and black slaves.