Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ray Charles: Find Another Way! by Susan Sloate

Don’t be fooled by this slim biography. Yes, it’s easy on the eyes with large font, plenty of white space and large color photographs, but it’s also filled with interesting information about the late rhythm and blues great, Ray Charles. In a mere thirty-two pages, I learned several memorable things about the man that I had never heard before. For instance, he changed his name from Ray Robinson, so as not to be confused with the boxer, he played chess against people with sight, and he even drove a car sometimes! These personal facts are intertwined with the historical context of his career, and Sloate includes a few anecdotes about Ray’s participation in the Civil Rights Movement.

The back of the book has an abbreviated timeline, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index. If you want to learn more about Ray Charles, Sloate includes a few books to consider reading as well as a few websites. This book is a great choice for struggling and reluctant readers, especially as the the Common Core State Standards ask all classes to incorporate more nonfiction texts.  --Anja Kennedy

Sloate, Susan. Ray Charles: Find Another Way! New York: Bearport Publishing, 2007. Print.

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