Taylor Harris


Excellent, Intermediate, blues music, death, grief, pain, gangs, school, family

Document Type

Book Review


Clayton Byrd is a bluesman, or at least he’s going to be someday. He spends most of his time with his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, who is also his best friend. When Cool Papa unexpectedly passes away, Clayton misses him dearly and struggles adjusting. To make matters worse, his mother sells all of Cool Papa’s things, which were intended for Clayton. After she confiscates his blues harp, Clayton decides to run away. A day of skipping school and accidentally getting in with a gang lands him in jail, where his mother picks him up. She calls his father, who tells them that they’re all hurting and they all need to talk. The book ends with the implication that they did so and that things are running much more smoothly.