Passing the Music Down
Author: Sarah Sullivan
Illustrator: Barry Root
Publisher: Candlewick 
ISBN-10: 0763637538
ISBN-13: 978-0763637538

© 2013 Sarah Sullivan.  All rights reserved. Site design Donna Farrell. http://donnadoodles.comshapeimage_2_link_0

A warmhearted ode to an American musical tradition and to generational ties, told in lyrical free verse with atmospheric illustrations


A young boy travels to the hills of Appalachia to meet the old-time fiddle player whose music he has admired, and so sparks a friendship that will forge a bond between generations. The boy develops under the man’s care and instruction, just as seedlings grow with spring rain and summer sun. From playing on the front porch to performing at folk festivals, the two carry on the tradition of passing the music down. This touching, lyrical story, inspired by the lives of renowned fiddlers Melvin Wine and Jake Krack, includes an author’s note and suggested resources for learning about the musicians and the music they love.

Nominated for West Virginia Children’s Choice Book Award

2012 Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts (NCTE)

Bank Street College Best Children's Books-2012

"a lovely introduction to traditional music."—Horn Book

"evocative descriptive detail . . . brings the scenes to vivid life."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"with a fiddler's rhythm . . . this celebratory picture book honors the lives of two famous folk musicians and the bond between them."—Booklist

"music-making builds bridges across generations."—Chicago Tribune

"part of musical history."—New York Times

"lilting text."—Cleveland Plain Dealer

"a lovely, resonant offering." —Kirkus

"It is lovely, and a wonderful tribute to a southern tradition."—Wanda Jewell, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)

"Told in free verse, this picture book would be a good accompaniment to music-appreciation lessons focused on American roots music."—School Library Journal

"Sullivan captures the sound of the 'old time' music in her rhythmic verse, which just cries out to be read aloud... A beautifully crafted picture book"—NSW Association for Gifted and Talented Children.

Sarah Sullivan
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Jake Krack’s First Place-Winning Performance at 
Galax Old Time Fiddler’s Convention, August 4, 2009.
Megan Tarbett of Library Update interviews Sarah Sullivan.
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Passing the Music Down is a book on the "Read Local Challenge" for schools and libraries. Learn more!