cbr15bingo Queer Lives: never officially confirmed, but she is a queer icon/role model and probably was either bisexual or a lesbian.
You need many books in your life. And Rock, Rosetta, Rock! Roll, Rosetta, Roll!: Presenting Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Godmother of Rock & Roll, is one of them. Tonya Bolden took a woman that I knew a little about and reinforced that information and added some new as well. And Little Rosetta and the Talking Guitar: The Musical Story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Woman Who Invented Rock and Roll is another picture book that came out in February 2023 (one I previously reviewed) you will need.
Both books tell of the life and times of Rosetta Thorpe with Bolden’s being a bit more poetically told. Therefore, what you are looking for will determine your choice of which book. However, I cannot choose. I like R. Gregory Christie‘s illustrations in Rock, Rosetta but prefer Charnelle Pinkney Barlow’s overall. But Bolden’s book feels as if you are listening to Tharpe perform.
Therefore just get both. Mostly because you will want to collect everything on this amazing woman, but also because they will grow with your child. Several extras are included, and Rock, Rosetta is a love letter to this trailblazing woman. She was not just a “Girl with a guitar” but one with music in every part of her, from her hair to her very soul. And the representation of Tharpe is well done. the sass, the class, and the power unfolds. I would love to hear this book read by a blues performer, therefore a read aloud would be a blast when you act things out.
And if you are looking for a great companion to the books above, Roberta Flack and Tonya Bolden are the authors of The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music. This covers Roberta Flack’s journey, in a similar manner. This is (as said) a companion to the Thorpe stories, because only Flack is mentioned, but you need this book too. And it is great for women’s history, black history and musical history. And just a darn good book.