Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm

Written by Karen Deans
Illustrated by Joe Cepeda


*Amelia Bloomer Project Top Ten Titles of 2016
* 2015 Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Gold Award
*Bank Street List: Children’s Best Books of 2016

In 1909, Dr. Laurence Clifton Jones opened a special home for African American orphans in Mississippi called Piney Woods Country Life School. There, students worked hard on their studies, and no one worked harder than the young musicians who played in the Sweethearts, the school’s all-girl swing band. Their music had rhythms and melodies that got people dancing!

When the Sweethearts left Piney Woods, they moved to Washington, DC, to try to make it to the big time in an era when integrated musical groups were practically unheard of. It wasn’t always easy, and it wasn’t always safe, but the talented Sweethearts of Rhythm ultimately became an international sensation.

The rhythmic text and exuberant illustrations celebrate these courageous musicians who chipped away at racist and sexist barriers, and whose music reminded audiences how great it feels to be alive.

-from the publisher, Holiday House