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Extended Audio Sample Clayton Byrd Goes Underground Audiobook, by Rita Williams-Garcia Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rita Williams-Garcia Narrator: Adam Lazarre-White Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9780062682581
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From beloved Newbery Honor winner and three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia comes a powerful and heartfelt novel about loss, family, and love that will appeal to fans of Jason Reynolds and Kwame Alexander.

Clayton feels most alive when he’s with his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, and the band of Bluesmen—he can’t wait to join them, just as soon as he has a blues song of his own. But then the unthinkable happens. Cool Papa Byrd dies, and Clayton’s mother forbids Clayton from playing the blues. And Clayton knows that’s no way to live.

Armed with his grandfather’s brown porkpie hat and his harmonica, he runs away from home in search of the Bluesmen, hoping he can join them on the road. But on the journey that takes him through the New York City subways and to Washington Square Park, Clayton learns some things that surprise him.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A holistic portrait of a family in pain, a realistic portrait of grief and reconciliation, and a reminder that sadness and loss are wrapped up in the blues.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “With the precision of a surgeon, Williams-Garcia lifts and examines layers of Clayton’s hurt and anger: the loss, but also the inability of his dismissive mother to understand.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “An appealing, realistic story with frequent elegant turns of phrase.”

    Horn Book (starred review)

  • “Clayton’s love of his grandfather and his music is wonderfully drawn…Strong characterizations and vivid musical scenes add layers to this warm family story.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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About the Author
Author Rita Williams-Garcia

Rita Williams-Garcia is the author of the Newbery Honor–winning novel One Crazy Summer, which was also a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, a National Book Award finalist, the recipient of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and a New York Times bestseller. She is also the author of six distinguished novels for young adults: Jumped, a National Book Award finalist; No Laughter Here; Every Time a Rainbow Dies (a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book); Fast Talk on a Slow Track (all ALA Best Books for Young Adults); Blue Tights; and Like Sisters on the Homefront, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. She lives in Jamaica, New York, and is on the faculty at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in the Writing for Children & Young Adults Program.

About the Narrator

Adam Lazarre-White, best known for starring as Nathan Hastings on The Young & The Restless, also gained notoriety on Living Single, Girlfriends, Will & Grace, The Parkers, and in the Emmy Award–winning miniseries The Temptations. His other television and film credits include Heroes, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Deliver Us from Eva, Ocean’s 13, All about You, and Forgiveness. Lazarre-White has many credits as a voice artist on commercial radio, television, and film. He graduated from Harvard and then returned home to New York to train at Terry Schreiber Studios and continue his work on LA stages, notably in Romeo & Juliet, The Trojan Women, and Neil Labute’s This Is How It Goes.