Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
Author: Rita Williams-Garcia
Illustrator: Frank Morrison
In this new novel from award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia, when aspiring bluesman Clayton Byrd loses his beloved grandfather, he must figure out what to do with all his anger and sadness—and finally learns to play a blues song all his own.
Clayton feels most alive when he’s playing music with his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, and the band of Bluesmen—he can’t wait to join them, just as soon as he has a blues song of his own. But then the unthinkable happens. Cool Papa Byrd dies, and Clayton’s mother forbids Clayton from playing the blues. And Clayton knows that’s no way to live.
Armed with his grandfather’s brown porkpie hat and his “blues harp,” he runs away from home, in search of the Bluesmen, hoping he can join them on the road. But on the journey that takes him through the New York City subways and to Washington Square Park, Clayton learns some things about his family, and himself, that surprise him.
Powerful, compelling, and heartbreaking, this book by the award-winning author of One Crazy Summer, P.S. Be Eleven, and Gone Crazy in Alabama is a new masterpiece by one of today’s most beloved children’s book authors.