Juba!: A Novel

Featured
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
2650 0
Juba!: A Novel
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 13, 2015
ISBN
9780062112712
Buy This Book
      

In New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers's last novel, he delivers a gripping story based on the life of a real dancer known as Master Juba, who lived in the nineteenth century. This engaging historical novel is based on the true story of the meteoric rise of an immensely talented young black dancer, William Henry Lane, who influenced today's tap, jazz, and step dancing. With meticulous and intensive research, Walter Dean Myers has brought to life Juba's story. The novel includes photographs, maps, and other images from Juba's time and an afterword from Walter Dean Myers's wife about the writing process of Juba!

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Little Known History
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Based on a real person, this novel starts in New York City in 1842. William Henry Lane, who calls himself Juba, lives in a room rented to him and Stubby by elderly Irish fishmonger Jack. Stubby loves to cook and does well with assisting Jack in going door to door to sell fish, but Juba just wants to dance. He has some luck in a variety of Irish run nightclubs, but does not want to do minstrel shows or "blacken up" his act. It's bad enough that there is slavery in parts of the U.S. and that black entertainers are considered third class. When he is given a chance to arrange a show, he puts together one with the help of a neighbor lady, and is brought to the attention of the traveling Charles Dickens, who mentions Juba in his book about his travels. Soon, Juba is approached about touring in England with a group of black entertainers who are trying to move beyond the minstrel show. Juba decides to go, and enjoys his life in England, although employment is not always easy to find. He is glad that he doesn't have to worry about being sold into slavery, and claims to be from Barbados so he is not an alien. He eventually marries Sarah, and has some acclaim as a dancer, but ends up ill and in a work house at the end of his short life.
Good Points
This was an interesting look at the entertainment industry in New York City, and good coverage of a rather neglected time period. This is clearly well researched and a good addition to historical novels about African Americans that are not about slavery or Civil Rights. The inclusion of pictures and artifacts adds interest as well.

Juba's drive and determination despite the difficult circumstances he faced will appeal to many readers, and the vibrant descriptions of the entertainment world are a good choice for readers who have a interest in theater or dance.

Myers has a tremendous body of work, but this may well be his last published book, so definitely travel back in time and dance with Juba!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are...
The Mother of Monsters
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Mischievous Ntombi is not at all afraid of the fearsome...
Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail: A Story from Chile
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Brave young Pedro faces monsters and greedy guards when he...
What Beauty There Is
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
What Beauty There Is is Cory Anderson's stunning YA...
Baseball Baby
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This original board book series, which begins with America's favorite...
I Am Not a Penguin
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
This hilarious story of a pangolin with an identity crisis...
Poison Priestess (Lady Slayers, #2)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
In 17th-century Paris, 19-year-old Catherine Monvoisin is a well-heeled...
Sam Can't Sleep
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
When Sam can’t sleep, he decides to ask all the...
The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years...
Fate Calling
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A cursed fae prince. A lonely human lass. A...
Welcome to California
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to California! We're glad you're here! Introducing a new...
Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A buttoned-up overachiever works overtime to keep her inner...
The Other Side of Perfect
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Sarah Dessen and Mary H.K. Choi, this...
The Sky Above Us
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
From the author of We Speak in Storms comes...
Zoom: Dinosaur Adventure
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Join Jasmine and Jamie as they travel back in time...
Let's Pretend Fire Station
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's a busy day at the fire station! Chldren can...

Latest Member Reviews

These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
"THESE FEATHERED FLAMES is an enchanting YA fantasy about sisterhood, power, and destiny. When twins are born in the royal..."
The Other Side of Perfect
 
4.3
"THE OTHER SIDE OF PERFECT is an engrossing YA contemporary about loss, grief, moving on, friendship, and sisterhood. Alina has..."
Indivisible
 
5.0
"INDIVISIBLE is a heartfelt and riveting YA contemporary about family, feeling different, and immigration in the US. Mateo is a..."
My Last Summer with Cass
 
5.0
"“A good friendship is like a work of art.” Megan and Cass have been friends forever. Their..."
The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer, #1)
 
5.0
"THE PRISON HEALER is a stunning and captivating YA fantasy read. This book takes place in a prison, Zalindov, which..."
The Forest of Stolen Girls
 
5.0
"There were so many things I really liked about this book. The case of the missing girls was obviously the..."
Poison Priestess (Lady Slayers, #2)
 
3.3
"POISON PRIESTESS is an intriguing YA historical fiction that follows Catherine Monvoisin, a fortune teller and infamous master of poisons...."
Ember of Night
 
4.3
"EMBER OF NIGHT is an intense and steamy YA fantasy read. The book follows Harley, an almost 18-year-old who has..."
The Sky Above Us
 
3.3
"THE SKY ABOVE US is a YA drama about grief, loss, and the search for something better. The book follows..."
Poisoned
 
4.3
"POISONED by Jennifer Donnelly is a YA fairytale retelling of the original Snow White by the Brothers Grimm. In it,..."
Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love
 
N/A
"[b]AMOXIL[/b] is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as ear infections, bladder infections, pneumonia,..."
What Beauty There Is
 
5.0
"WHAT BEAUTY THERE IS is a consuming and compelling YA thriller. The book is told from several points-of-view, but primarily..."
Havoc (Haven, #2)
 
3.7
"HAVOC is an intriguing continuation of a YA paranormal romance. In this world, witches and werewolves live side by side..."
Coming Up for Air
 
4.7
"COMING UP FOR AIR is an intense and heart-wrenching YA contemporary with some heavy themes. The book is told between..."
A Curse of Ash & Embers (The Blackbone Witches, #1)
 
3.7
"A CURSE OF ASH AND EMBERS is an intriguing, character-driven YA fantasy read. Elodie has received a letter of employment..."
Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good
 
4.0
"ZOE ROSENTHAL IS NOT LAWFUL GOOD is a fun YA contemporary about embracing what you love and finding your people...."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
"While being forced to clean an old room in her Catholic school, Maeve finds an old tarot deck that instantly..."
Just Our Luck
 
4.3
"JUST OUR LUCK is a charming YA contemporary about loss, anxiety, and friendship. Leo is a bit of a loner,..."
Flamefall (The Aurelian Cycle, #2)
 
5.0
"FLAMEFALL is the absolutely stunning and enthralling sequel to FIREBORNE, and the second in the Aurelian Cycle trilogy. The book..."
The Glass Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil, #2)
 
5.0
"Return to Enchantia and meet the Glass Queen in this second installment of Gena Showalter‘s series Forest of Good and..."