The Greatest Song of All: How Isaac Stern United the World to Save Carnegie Hall by Megan Hoyt was not only a good story, but an exciting look at the history of this country, music, and Carnegie Hall itself. Long story short, when the area around the hall was being purchased up to be tore down to renovate and reinvite the city, one man stood up and said, “Hey! Not cool dude!” Okay, he was a bit more eloquent than that, but that was his message.
That man was Isaac Stern. A man who as a young boy learned to play the violin despite being a child of immigrants who fled the Ukraine and escaped the Holocaust. He would play on the same stage as Tchaikovsky once stood. On the same stage as Duke Ellington played and Albert Einstein spoke on. A stage that had history made with allowing people of all races, religions, or social status to play, speak out and enjoy those performers. A stage that opened in 1891 and is still open today. And when he saw his beloved Carnegie Hall was slated for demolition, he did whatever it took to keep that stage alive.
This story comes to life not only with Hoyt’s text, but the lovely illustration of Katie Hickey. The people who came out to help come to life once again, the protests, letters, and struggles are colorfully shown, presented in details of the right amount, and while a serious story, lightly presented. Overall, an amazing journey unfolds.
Best for older children it would work well in a history class, music class or for someone who enjoys non-fiction in a fiction format.