George Gershwin was a tough kid who got in a lot of fights and frequently skipped school. Then his family bought a piano. He dropped out of school when he was 15 to become a musician. Music led to international fame. But he died before his 40th birthday.

  • Publisher: Mitchell Lane
  • Series: Masters of Music
  • Year Published: 2004
  • Age Level: 8-13
  • Category:


Whiting has done extensive research; appropriate quotes are interspersed throughout the story. He describes the music scene in the early 20th century and puts Gershwin’s life within this historical context. (Jewish Book World)

Brief looks at the lives of two well-known and important composers. In their quest for musical careers, both Gershwin and Verdi faced numerous challenges and struggles. Through persistence and determination, they realized great success—Gershwin with musicals and Verdi in opera—but also disappointment and heartache in their personal lives. Each title consists of six succinct chapters highlighting important events in the composer’s life, followed by an “FYInfo” page that provides additional information relative to the previous chapter or about cultural and political developments. These help give historical perspective to the composers’ lives. The layout of the books adds to their overall appeal and accessibility. Personal chronologies, historical time lines, detailed indexes, and other back matter make these books ideal for research. (School Library Journal)