Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane's Musical Journey

by Gary Golio and Rudy Gutierrez

An amazingly well-done picture book biography covers John Coltrane’s entire... read more

An amazingly well-done picture book biography covers John Coltrane’s entire life, weaving in both his drug addiction and his search for meaning through religion—two very complicated aspects of his adult life—in a nonjudgmental, accessible way. Author Gary Golio’s writing is not only successful at explaining its complex subject, but it sings, whether he’s writing about Coltrane’s relationship with music or his conscious decision to turn away from drugs, a struggle at which he succeeded with support. Rudy Gutierrez’s striking illustrations blend photorealistic faces and abstracted bodies that distort into swirling shapes that can be interpreted as music, a drug-addled mind, religious fervor—or all three. The sophisticated art is a great choice for the complexity of Coltrane and the audience for this picture book for older readers. (Ages 9–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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