When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana

by Michael Mahin and Jose Ramirez

An artful, second-person narrative dives into the heart and hopes and dreams of Carlos... read more

An artful, second-person narrative dives into the heart and hopes and dreams of Carlos Santana. He wanted to play music that made angels sing, like his father did. But his father’s music didn’t speak to young Carlos, let alone inspire angels, when he tried playing it himself. The narrative illuminates details of Santana’s life, from economic hardship in Mexico as a child to struggles with racism and language barriers after moving to the United States, to his pride in his mestizo heritage, to the inspiration he found in Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. Through it all is his ongoing search for the sound that would make angels sing. He found it when he eventually fused blues music, jazz, and the rhythms and sounds of his homeland. An account that culminates with Santana taking the stage at Woodstock is paired with full-page, richly hued, stylized paintings in acrylic and colored marker. An author’s note, bibliography, and “further listening” suggestions are included. (Ages 7–11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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