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Jimmy's Rhythm & Blues

The Extraordinary Life of James Baldwin



Book cover of children's picture book biography titled Jimmu's Rhythm & blues about James Baldwin

Harper Collins


48 pages

Ages 4-8

Author: Michelle Meadows

   Illustrator: Janiel Law

Character: James Baldwin


" Before he became a writer, James 'Jimmy' Baldwin was a young boy from Harlem, New York, who loved stories. He found joy in the rhythm of music, family, and books.

But Jimmy also found the blues, as a Black man living in America.When he discovered the written word, he discovered true power. Writing gave him a voice. And that voice opened the world to Jimmy. From the publication of the groundbreaking collection of essays The Fire Next Time to his passionate demonstrations during the civil rights movement, Jimmy used his voice fearlessly."

Tantalizing taste:

"Writing is electric blue,

bright, brilliant words

of letters and words

flying, flipping,

flowing to the beat.

In elementary school, Jimmy stood out.

Kids picked on him,

noticing he was small, shy, and smart.

His teachers noticed something else:

Jimmy had a gift for weaving words together

like musical notes of a song."

And something more: Michelle Meadows, in the Author's Note writes: "While writing this book, it moved me most to learn how James Baldwin found comfort in words from a young age. Words have always soothed me too. My mother says that when I was a child, I left little notes all around the house about how I was feeling. I hope this book inspires young readers to find joy an dpower through written expression."


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