Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters

Reinberger Review

When McKinley Morganfield was a young boy, he liked playing in the mud in his backyard in Mississippi so much that his Grandma Della started calling him “Muddy,” and it stuck. Muddy loved nothing more than making music – when he saved up enough money for a used guitar, he started playing his own brand of Mississippi blues, much to Grandma Della’s chagrin. Eventually he moved to Chicago where the real jazz music scene was, and after some fits and starts playing the more accepted sound of the times, he made a blues record and it set the town on fire. This picturebook biography not only celebrates his music with vibrant and chaotic illustrations by Evan Turk, but offers insight into what it was like for an African American country boy to try to make it in the big city during the time of the Jim Crow laws. It’s informative and full of hope, a story of persistence, determination and courage – Muddy believed in himself and his music and wouldn’t let anyone tell him it wasn’t what people wanted to hear.

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