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ELIZABETH'S SONG is the true-life story of Elizabeth Cotton, the noted African American folksinger, guitarist, and songwriter. Against all odds, young Elizabeth teaches herself to play guitar left-handed on a borrowed instrument. Eventually she earns enough money to buy a guitar of her very own, and is then inspired to write her first song - the folk classic 'Freight Train' - written when she was eleven years old. Elizabeth's unique style of playing guitar (upside down and backwards) from which the term 'cotton-picking' is derived, has influenced countless other artists. Elizabeth's story is one that will inspire people of all ages.
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Gr 3-5-Set in Chapel Hill, NC, in 1903, this fictionalized story introduces readers to folk-musician Elizabeth Cotten. Young Elizabeth's love of music is so strong that she teaches herself to play her older brother Louis's guitar-left-handed and upside down. When he leaves home for a better life in the north, she works hard to earn enough money to buy her own guitar. At age 11, she writes her first song, "Freight Train," inspired by Louis's departure on train Number 9. An epilogue provides factual information about Cotten. The composition and design of this appealing picture book lure readers into finding out about this inspiring young African American. The descriptive language allows youngsters to visualize the scenes: for example, a passing train makes "a sudden rush of wind and sound, like a brass band gone wild." The soft, realistic watercolors complement the story, portraying the peace and joy the girl experiences when performing her music and the sadness she feels when her brother leaves. An appealing and satisfying book.-Margaret R. Tassia, Millersville University, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

A lovely story. --Gordon Lightfoot What a wonderful way to bring Elizabeth's legacy to new generations to come. --Bonnie Raitt An inspiring true story. --Pete Seeger A lovely story. Gordon Lightfoot" An inspiring true story. Pete Seeger" A lovely story. --Gordon Lightfoot An inspiring true story. --Pete Seeger A lovely story. Gordon Lightfoot An inspiring true story. Pete Seeger A lovely story. --Gordon Lightfoot An inspiring true story. --Pete Seeger

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