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The Many Faces of Josephine Baker
Cover of The Many Faces of Josephine Baker
The Many Faces of Josephine Baker
Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy
Borrow

A complete biographical look at the complex life of a world-famous entertainer

With determination and audacity, Josephine Baker turned her comic and musical abilities into becoming a worldwide icon of the Jazz Age. The Many Faces of Josephine Baker: Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy provides the first in-depth portrait of this remarkable woman for young adults. Author Peggy Caravantes follows Baker's life from her childhood in the depths of poverty to her comedic rise in vaudeville and fame in Europe. This lively biography covers her outspoken participation in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, espionage work for the French Resistance during World War II, and adoption of 12 children—her "rainbow tribe." Also included are informative sidebars on relevant topics such as the 1917 East St. Louis riot, Pullman railway porters, the Charleston, and more. The lush photographs, appendix updating readers on the lives of the rainbow tribe, source notes, and bibliography make this is a must-have resource for any student, Baker fan, or history buff.

A complete biographical look at the complex life of a world-famous entertainer

With determination and audacity, Josephine Baker turned her comic and musical abilities into becoming a worldwide icon of the Jazz Age. The Many Faces of Josephine Baker: Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy provides the first in-depth portrait of this remarkable woman for young adults. Author Peggy Caravantes follows Baker's life from her childhood in the depths of poverty to her comedic rise in vaudeville and fame in Europe. This lively biography covers her outspoken participation in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, espionage work for the French Resistance during World War II, and adoption of 12 children—her "rainbow tribe." Also included are informative sidebars on relevant topics such as the 1917 East St. Louis riot, Pullman railway porters, the Charleston, and more. The lush photographs, appendix updating readers on the lives of the rainbow tribe, source notes, and bibliography make this is a must-have resource for any student, Baker fan, or history buff.

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  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    1100
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    7 - 9

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Peggy Caravantes is a former English and history teacher, middle school principal, and deputy school superintendent. She is the author of 16 books for middle grades and young adult readers, including American Hero: The Audie Murphy Story and Petticoat Spies: Six Women Spies of the Civil War. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    December 15, 2014
    An honest, revealing portrait of the famed entertainer and activist who was born into extreme poverty and became an international iconic star of the Jazz Age.Growing up in squalor in East St. Louis, sickly, unschooled, pushed by her mother to find work at the age of 7 and married at 13, Baker's future looked bleak, but she was determined to leave her grim life behind. Her natural comedic ability got Baker work in vaudeville, and she quickly proved herself a gifted dancer and singer and found increasingly lucrative work. At 19, Baker was performing in Paris and, in a few short years, became an international sensation. Caravantes discusses how Baker used her fame to spy for the Allies during World War II and devoted time to entertaining troops. She also chronicles Baker's work as a civil rights activist, using her clout to demand integrated audiences at her performances, publicly condemning racism in the United States, and adopting her Rainbow Tribe, 12 children representing different nationalities, ethnicities and religions in an effort to prove racial harmony possible. This warts-and-all portrait reveals that Baker was a complex, enigmatic personality who could be as selfish as she was generous, as mean-spirited as she was compassionate, and as inconsiderate as she was thoughtful. A fascinating, compelling story of a remarkably resilient woman who overcame poverty and racial prejudice to become an international celebrity. (source notes, bibliography, index) (Biography. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    January 1, 2015

    Gr 6 Up-Josephine Baker, entertainer, ex-pat, and activist, is a unique and controversial figure of the Jazz Age. Admitting that verifying the truth of Baker's life proves difficult, Caravantes offers a thorough biography. Where there is more than one version of a story, she is careful to explain the origin of the distortion-often Baker herself, as she rewrote her own history to better suit the image she wanted to project. A remarkable woman nonetheless, Josephine, illiterate most of her life, pulled herself out of extreme poverty and often disturbing conditions in the slums of East St. Louis to become the toast of Paris, where racial prejudice was less pronounced than in the United States. An adoptive mother of 13 children, she was recruited to spy for France during World War II. Baker suffered numerous ups and downs, many of her own making, but she never lost her faith that all people should live in brotherhood. This is a straightforward biography, enhanced by photographs, sidebars, source notes, and bibliography. The prose is workmanlike, but Baker's story is inspiring enough to provide interesting reading beyond simple report writing. Recommended especially for collections in African American and women's studies, but it may also be useful for history and entertainment buffs in general.-Katherine Koenig, The Ellis School, PA

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus Reviews

    "A fascinating, compelling story of a remarkably resilient woman who overcame poverty and racial prejudice to become an international celebrity."

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    Chicago Review Press
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Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy
Peggy Caravantes
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