Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought)

Krull, Kathleen. Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought). 1993. 96pp. Lexile 1010.

Meet twenty-four well-known musicians in this witty collective biography.  Large caricatures set the tone so readers know they will be entertained as well as informed about such classical stars as Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Verdi, and Vivaldi.  American musicians such as Joplin, Gershwin, and Woody Guthrie also put in an appearance.  Krull describes professional highlights and adds sometimes eccentric details about each one, weaving in references to specific pieces of music.  This is one of several books by Krull along the same lines—including artists, famous women, presidents, and athletes. While highly enjoyable, the series is also especially useful for students who benefit from short chunks of text and the support of pictures.

Reading Std #1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and implicitly, citing specific textual evidence to support conclusions drawn from it.  Krull manages to convey the personality of each musician.  Have students each choose one of the musicians and analyze how she conveys a sense of the person through her language and the details she includes.