The Minstrel's Melody (History Mysteries-American Girl)

Tate, Eleanora E.

Published by Demco Media, 2002
ISBN 10: 0606213317 / ISBN 13: 9780606213318
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Synopsis: In 1904, twelve-year-old Orphelia follows her dream by running away from home to join an all-black minstrel show headed for the Saint Louis World's Fair, and learns about her family's troubled past in the process.

From School Library Journal: Gr 4-7-Orphelia, 12, longs to go to the St. Louis World's Fair. When her idol, the marvelous Madame Meritta, brings her famous traveling minstrel show to the rural African-American community of Calico Creek, MO, looking for new talent, the girl sees her big chance. However, her mother seems set against her daughter's interest in music, allowing her only to play in church. After a minor mischievous incident, the child is not permitted to play in the talent show after all, and, indeed, may not be allowed to play the piano again. In despair, she runs away with the troupe, where she confronts the realities of life on the road, experiences the hard work behind the glamour, encounters racism, and learns about the financial uncertainties of show business. Orphelia also meets a mysterious man and discovers a secret about her family's past that may explain her mother's reticence to indulge her musical talent. While the mystery is fairly predictable, children will enjoy figuring it out with the determined, likable protagonist. Tate creates a strong sense of community, both in Orphelia's hometown and among the members of the minstrel troupe. Historical elements, such as the use of blackface in theater, are woven almost seamlessly into the narrative. The appendix offers additional insight into the history of minstrel shows, music, and African-American life in the early 1900s. A good read for any fan of historical fiction.

Robin L. Gibson, Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Minstrel's Melody (History ...
Publisher: Demco Media
Publication Date: 2002
Book Condition: Very Good

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Tate, Eleanora E.
Published by Demco Media (2002)
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Eleanora E. Tate
Published by Demco Media (2002)
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