Hey, Charleston!: The True Story of the Jenkins Orphanage Band
In 1891, Reverend Daniel Joseph Jenkins opened his orphanage in Charleston, South Carolina. He soon had hundreds of children and needed a way to support them. Jenkins asked townspeople to donate old band instruments, some of which had last played in the hands of Confederate soldiers in the Civil War. He found teachers to show the kids how to play. Soon the orphanage had a band. And what a band it was.
The Jenkins Orphanage Band caused a sensation on the streets of Charleston. People called the band's style of music "rag," a rhythm inspired by the African-American people who lived on the South Carolina and Georgia coast. The children performed as far away as Paris and London, and they earned enough money to support the orphanage that still exists today.
This was such a fun book! There is something to be said about a nonfiction book that can read like a narrative. What kid wouldn't like hearing a fascinating story, only to find out that it's true!
In Hey, Charleston! I learned about the Rev. Jenkins that taught the orphans under his care how to play instruments and create Jazz/Ragtime music. I also learned where the dance-- the Charleston-- originated. (It's not just about a place!) I am so tickled about all the information that was packed into this short little book. Better yet, though, there was a great lesson hidden among the pages. The Rev. Jenkins was a great man that taught his orphans an important lesson about life. That lesson was shown in this book, which makes it a powerful story about life as well as a great nonfiction book.