Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hip-Hop Biographies: Drake

Saddleback’s Hip-Hop Biographies series has drawn tremendous student interest since the moment I took the books out of the box. In Drake’s biography, the reader gets to know a little bit about Drake’s childhood in Toronto, where he was raised by his white, Jewish mother. He didn’t have much of a relationship with his father, an African American musician, until he was a teenager, but when they finally started spending time together, they bonded over music. Some readers might be surprised to learn that Drake was an actor on the popular television program Degrassi High before he made it as a singer, and this book clearly explains his trajectory from one role to the next. Also of interest is his relationship with mentor Lil Wayne and a breakdown of some rivalries Drake has had with other musicians.

The font is large and accessible, and students have enjoyed flipping through the pages and looking at the colorful pictures in these slim volumes. Other popular titles in the series are Chris Brown, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. This series is recommended for independent reading or as a starting point for inquiry work. Additionally, each book contains a table of contents, a glossary and a page of photo credits. --Anja Kennedy

Hip-Hop Biographies: Drake. Costa Mesa, CA: Saddleback Educational Publishing, 2013. Print.

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