Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters

Michael Mahin, illus. by Evan Turk. Atheneum, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4814-4349-4
Born McKinley Morganfield, the boy who would become guitarist Muddy Waters embraced the blues from an early age, even if the grandmother who raised him didn’t approve: “Last I checked, you can’t eat the blues for breakfast.” Debut author Mahin’s dialogue is invented, but it paints a vivid picture of Waters’s determination to make it as a blues musician, eventually leaving his sharecropping life in Mississippi for Chicago. Like Waters’s music after landing in the Windy City, Turk’s artwork is electric—wild strokes of marker and oil pastel vibrate with energy. And Mahin’s equally vivid writing will almost certainly send readers after Waters’s catalogue: “It felt honest and raw. It felt real. It felt like the past and the future and the country and the city all rolled into one.” Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Minju Chang, Bookstop Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/07/2017
Release date: 09/05/2017
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