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Before There Was Mozart: 03/13/17
Before There Was Mozart by Lesa Cline-Ransome is a picture book biography of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George. He was the son of a French slave owner and a slave.
Joseph received a good education which included musical instruction. He excelled with the violin and was invited to France to make a career out of it.
I must admit that I went into this book without knowing much about Joseph Boulogne, beyond his title and his accomplishments as a violinist. In regards to his title, it was the highest title his father could give him because a black man wasn't allowed to hold property or be part of the aristocracy, even with a father who was.
Though this is a short book written for elementary school aged readers, I did come away having learned more about his life and his influence (including on Mozart, who was apparently a fan). I both want to read more about Joseph Boulogne and read more of Lesa Cline-Ransome's picture book biographies.