Cover image for George Gershwin : American composer
George Gershwin : American composer
Reef, Catherine.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Greensboro, N.C. : Morgan Reynolds Inc., [2000]

Physical Description:
112 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Traces the life of the American Jewish composer who created a new kind of music that has lasted beyond the fashion of his time.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 7.4 3.0 47539.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML3930.G29 R44 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



George Gershwin's tragically short career produced such enchanting music as Porgy and Bess and Rhapsody in Blue.

Author Notes

Catherine Reef received a degree in English from Washington State University. She began her career as a writer at Washington State, where she created brochures for the College of Pharmacy and developed the university's first research magazine. She is the author of more than 35 nonfiction books for young people. She has received several awards including the Joan G. Sugarman Children's Book Award for Walt Whitman in 1996, the Sydney Taylor Award for Sigmund Freud: Pioneer of the Mind in 2002, and a Golden Kite Honor Award for Ernest Hemingway: A Writer's Life in 2010.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-8. In this biography from the Masters of Music series, Reef traces George Gershwin's life and career, from his childhood affinity for music to his apprenticeship in Tin Pan Alley to his seemingly magical success on Broadway, in Hollywood, and in the concert hall. Even better, the writing gives a sense of Gershwin's personality, his family, and his times. Readers who can manage it may want to hear Rhapsody in Blue, Porgy and Bess, or at least "I Got Rhythm" playing in the background. Appendixes include source notes, a list of Gershwin's major works, a glossary of musical terms, and a bibliography. Young people with an interest in the composer or his music will find this succinct biography a most enjoyable introduction to Gershwin. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-9-Reef covers Gershwin's life from his childhood in New York City at the turn of the century to his death in 1937. The writing has some errors, inconsistencies, and omissions, and the author stumbles in trying to describe the composer's lyrics without actually quoting them. The glossary of musical terms is incomplete and, as most words are defined in context, unnecessary. The selection of black-and-white photos is uninspired. Although colorful, attractive, and fascinating to look at, Mike Venezia's George Gershwin (Children's, 1994) and Roland Vernon's Introducing Gershwin (Silver Burdett, 1996) have very abbreviated texts. Reef's book does fill in some of the gaps, creating a more comprehensive overview of Gershwin's life. Thus, it may meet a need in libraries that don't own a copy of Paul Kresh's An American Rhapsody (Lodestar, 1988; o.p.).-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.