Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

Main Page
Author List
Title List
New This Month
Interest Level
Subject List
Booktalking Tips
Book Review Sources
Reading lists
Nancy Keane's Children's Website

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Ryan, Pam Munoz.
New York : Scholastic, 2002.
IL K-3, RL 4.6
ISBN 0439269679

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

[Play a recording of Marian Anderson singing.] The voice you are listening to is one of the twentieth century's most beautiful and powerful and famous singers, Marian Anderson. Marian sang as a child while she walked to school and did her chores. Marian sang in her church choir -- sometimes too loudly. Marian sang in Philadelphia 's acclaimed People's Chorus -- one of the youngest singers in the group. Marian sang in concert programs to help support her family after her father's death. Marian sang in spite of racial prejudice, bigotry, and segregation -- for Marian Anderson was black. She was not allowed to attend a Philadelphia music school because of her race. She often had to sing twice in the same location, once for white audiences and once for the segregated black ones. She could not stay in the same hotels or eat in the same restaurants as whites. Still, Marian's perseverance and dedication led her to work with talented voice teachers and perform in the best concert halls in Europe . She traveled in Europe for many years, learning and performing, perfecting her voice and preparing her future. Marian was talented enough to perform anywhere and for anyone -- except at home. When Marian came home she was denied the right to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington DC , because she was black. Her thousands of supporters were enraged and a campaign was launched to find a place, in her own nation's capitol, where Marian's voice could be heard. Finally, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that proclaims "a new birth of freedom," Marian Anderson sang. To learn more about this amazing woman and her work, read When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson, The Voice of a Century by Pam Munoz Ryan.

Prepared by: Susannah Hogan for The South Carolina Children's Book Award nominees 2005

Booktalk #2

 {titles in parenthesis are sung with eyes closed}
Pam Munoz Ryan has written about Marian Anderson, the voice of a century.
No one was surprised that Marian loved to sing -- her whole family sang.  She sang in the church choir at 10 years old.  {Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?}
For Marian, music was serious.  She hoped to go to music school but they didn't take colored students, so she learned to sing in church choirs.  She sang with great dignity as she traveled to many states in the Jim Crow train for Negroes. {He's got the whole world in his hands.}
She trained with master teachers and traveled to Europe performing to elated crowds.  In 1939, Howard University in Washington DC booked Marian to sing a concert, but Constitution Hall allowed only white performers.
Finally, President Roosevelt arranged for her to sing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  {My country 'tis of thee.}
Silence settled when Marian sang {Nobody knows the trouble I've seen.}
(Paula Gannaway,, librarian)

Non fiction SUBJECTS:   Anderson, Marian, 1897-1993.
                        African Americans -- Biography.
                        Women -- Biography.


Permission is granted for the noncommercial duplication and use of this resource, provided it is substantially unchanged from its present form and appropriate credit is given.