Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars

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How did the songs of a musician who died penniless end up traveling the cosmos and going farther than any manmade object ever? This incredible story is documented in the heartbreakingly lovely form in Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars.

This is not a story full of twists and turns. It’s a simple recounting of the facts about a blind boy making his way in the world, becoming a legendary musician, and leaving behind a legacy no one in his day could have imagined. And yet, this book is a tour-de-force.

The art alone makes it a must-have. The watercolors bring such warmth and vibrance to the proceedings, and yet, as their soft, hand-touched luminousness bleeds out of each image and out the frame, these intentional imperfections make the entire read spellbinding. You simply cannot look away.

Sure, this is a book for kids — the information drop at the end reinforces the story they’ve just learned — but that doesn’t exclude this book from being something adults should cherish. It took less than ten minutes to read one of the best books of the year, and it was absolutely perfect.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 32 pages
Publisher Penguin Random House
Publish Date 25-Aug-2020
ISBN 9781524738884
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue July 2021
Category Children's