cover image Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger

Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger

Anita Silvey. Clarion, $17.99 (112p) ISBN 978-0-547-33012-9

In her admiring portrait of Pete Seeger (1919–2014), Silvey (Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall) presents clearly the folk singer and activist’s passionate commitment to music and social justice. After a privileged upbringing and two years at Harvard, Seeger “acquired an encyclopedic repertoire of folk songs” while working at the Archive of American Folk Song. He began playing banjo with Woody Guthrie in 1940 and devoted his life to singing for causes he considered just: organized labor, civil rights, and environmental and antiwar campaigns. After establishing Seeger’s success as a singer, Silvey devotes a chapter to his commitment to the environment (specifically, cleaning up the Hudson River), then jumps from the early 1970s to the 2009 inauguration of President Obama. Silvey provides well-supported, well-rounded context for Seeger’s moral stances, personal life (including his wife’s supportive role as his manager), and enduring claim to folk-song fame with such influential contributions as “Abiyoyo,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” “Guantanamera,” “Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore,” and “We Shall Overcome.” Archival photographs, source notes, and a bibliography are included. Ages 10–12. (Aug.)