The Extraordinary Music of Mr. Ives (Hardcover)

The True Story of a Famous American Composer

By Joanne Stanbridge

Houghton Mifflin, 9780547238661, 32pp.

Publication Date: October 9, 2012



When the Lusitania was attacked in 1915, the American composer and New Yorker Charles Ives transformed the experience of this heartbreaking news into a musical piece. It begins with a jumble of traffic noises, then the hurdy-gurdy swells into the lovely old hymn In the Sweet Bye-and-Bye. In lyrical text and watercolors sometimes in dramatic wordless spreads this thoughtful picture book reveals not only a wartime tragedy, but a composer's conviction that everyday music can convey profound emotion and help heal a city. Young readers will understand that if they listen, music can be heard in the unlikeliest of places, from the busy chatter of a market to the wail of a fire engine.