Illustrated by Caldecott Honor Winner Bryan Collier
2016 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrator Winner
By William Weber
This true story follows the early childhood life of Troy Andrews. He grew up around music living in New Orleans and dreamed of being in a band. He would go to all the concerts and pretend to be in a band with his friends! One day he finds himself an old beat up trombone and begins to play. He practices and learns to love his old trombone. His older brother then gives him the nickname "Trombone Shorty" because he loved that trombone and was also very short. Trombone Shorty gets his big shot at fame while at a Bo Diddly concert. Bo Diddly himself asked Trombone Shorty to join him on stage and play with him! Trombone Shorty then continued on to start his own band and became very successful, especially among the African American crowd.
This book left a very positive view on me. First of all the illustrations were beautiful. "Hot colors reflect the New Orleans climate, while serene blues are as cool as the music Trombone Shorty produces" (Carter). The pictures throw you into Trombone Shorty's world. I also really liked the story. It showed that with the right passion and pursuit, you can make it big doing what you love. "This book will no doubt speak to the soul of many young musicians waiting for their own turn to be called onstage" (Cary). Young readers will read this and feel like they will be able to pursue their own dreams which is very important. Overall, this book was well written and well illustrated.
Coretta Scott King Award
1. Must portray some aspect of the black experience, past, present, or future.
2. Must be written/illustrated by an African American
3. Must be published in the U.S. in the year preceding presentation of the Award.
4. Must be an original work
5. Must meet established standards of quality writing for youth which include: clear plot, well drawn characters which portray growth and development during the course of the story, writing style which is consistent with and suitable to the age intended, and accuracy
6. Must be written for a youth audience in one of three categories:Preschool-grade 4, Grades 5-8, Grades 9-12
7. Particular attention will be paid to titles which seek to motivate readers to develop their own attitudes and behaviors as well as comprehend their personal duty and responsibility as citizens in a pluralistic society.
This book does qualify for the Coretta Scott Kind Award based on these 7 criteria. They are evident throughout the book and none are even in question. This book deserved the award. Students of all ages should have a chance to read this because it offers a great message. It encourages the reader to follow their dreams, no matter the diversity they encounter.
Andrews, Troy/ Collier Bryan (ILT). TROMBONE SHORTY. Live Oak Media, 2017.
Admin. “The Coretta Scott King Book Awards for Authors and Illustrators.” United for Libraries, 6 Aug. 2018, www.ala.org/rt/emiert/cskbookawards/slction.
Carter, Betty. “Review of Trombone Shorty.” Review of Trombone Shorty. The Horn Book.
Cary, Alice. “Trombone Shorty Book Review.” Review of Trombone Shorty. BookPage, 14AD.