Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book Review: We Shall Overcome by Stuart Stotts

We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World by Stuart Stotts
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication date: January 2010
ISBN: 9780547182100

Source: Review copy provided by author

We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World 

Following the development of the song "We Shall Overcome," this book discusses both its musical origins and the different times in history when it was used.  "We Shall Overcome" has come to represent unifying and strengthening of humanity.  It also represents the irrepressible spirit of mankind in pursuing freedom and right.

Things I Liked:
This was such a unique book!  While reading of the development of the song "We Shall Overcome," I was surprised at how both the musical content and the historical details combined fairly well together.  It was so interesting to see the different eras in US as well as international history that this song has been used to unite and uplift people who are seeking freedoms.  I knew absolutely nothing about the song, and thus found its historical development into a recorded song enlightening.  I also really liked the black and white photos scattered throughout, that seemed to add to the story so well.  The illustrations, while completely different in feel to the photos, also contributed to the feeling of the book.  I like that it came with a CD of the song - it was good to be able to actually listen to what the whole book was about.  Interesting and informative. 

Things I Didn't Like:
It seemed a bit short (which probably is good for nonfiction) and the separate sections at times did not flow well together, but it was still very interesting.  I'm not sure it will appeal to lots of kids, but musically inclined kids will probably gravitate towards it.

Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges

With Courage and Cloth by Ann Bausum
Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice by Philip Hoose

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
some parts of civil rights and war protests are described

Overall rating: ****

What do you think of multimedia books?  Do they attract more readers or distract from the text?

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. What a cool idea for a book! I love stuff about music (I have a music teacher mom) so this sounds interesting to me and I'll have to pick it up. Thanks for posting!:)

  2. Very interesting book. The only bad thing about your review is now I have the song stuck in my head. And I just now managed to get the Popcorn/Apricot Tree song out of my head from Sunday. :-)
    Tween Tuesday

  3. GreenBean, it really is a fun and unique book.

    Alison, oh, now I've got the popcorn popping song in MY head! :)


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