Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots
Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots

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Annotation: In soaring images and powerful poems, tells the story of the 1943 Zoot Suit Riots in Los Angeles, marked by racial violence between young white sailors on their way to war, and Mexican-American citizens.
Catalog Number: #159974
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Atheneum
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Gutierrez, Rudy,
Pages: 179 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-534-40943-2 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1031-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-534-40943-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1031-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017024247
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
All Formats: Search
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (page 178).
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 7-12
Lexile: 1300L
Jazz Owls


Excerpted from Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots by Margarita Engle
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

From the Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle comes a searing novel in verse about the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943.

Thousands of young Navy sailors are pouring into Los Angeles on their way to the front lines of World War II. They are teenagers, scared, longing to feel alive before they have to face the horrors of battle. Hot jazz music spiced with cool salsa rhythms calls them to dance with the local Mexican American girls, who jitterbug all night before working all day in the canneries. Proud to do their part for the war effort, these Jazz Owl girls are happy to dance with the sailors—until the blazing summer night when racial violence leads to murder.

Suddenly the young white sailors are attacking these girls’ brothers and boyfriends. The cool, loose zoot suits they wear are supposedly the reason for the violence—when in reality these boys are viciously beaten and arrested simply because of the color of their skin.

In soaring images and powerful poems, this is the breathtaking story of what became known as the Zoot Suit Riots as only Margarita Engle could tell it.


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