Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Review - Beyoncé: R & B Superstar


Beyoncé: R & B Superstar

By: Elaine Landau
Publisher: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: August 2012
ISBN: 978-0761341475
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 2012

When Beyoncé was a child her “home was always filled with the sounds of pop.” Her parents, Matthew and Tina Knowles were music fans and it certainly rubbed off on their oldest daughter. Even though Beyoncé was a shy child, when she performed she was anything but shy. She was so unreserved she would even charge five dollars to people who’d come to hear her perform in her home. Her parents knew Beyoncé had the music bug and entered her into “talent shows and beauty contests.” She definitely was a star in the making at a young age and later stated that “I’d just strut my stuff and even finish by blowing a kiss into the crowd.”

One of Beyoncé’s earlier forays into the musical world found her in a group called Girl’s Tyme. The group wasn’t nationally successful and disbanded only to later morph into an R & B group called Destiny’s Child. Beyoncé, whose nickname was Bee, would continue on with this group through numerous changes. Bee’s father left his job to manage the group and her mother “helped with the group’s costumes, hair, and makeup.” No doubt the group was hot and by 1997 they signed with Columbia and within the year their first album, “Destiny’s Child,” was a smash hit. It wouldn’t be the last.

Later the other members of the group were in an uprising over what they perceived was Matthew’s mismanagement of the group. The group continued to evolve as members left and new members joined. Bee branched out into acting, started a clothing line, and later began writing songs. It seemed like “there was no stopping Beyoncé.” Perhaps she wasn’t stoppable because she continued to grow in popularity. And then she married her longtime love, Jay-Z in 2008. In this book you will learn about her family, her projects, how she became the “country’s highest-earning star under the age of thirty,” her break from performing, her pregnancy, her fans, and you’ll learn many other interesting things about Beyoncé, an R & B superstar.

This is a fascinating bio about Beyoncé, an R & B superstar. No doubt her diehard fans will know everything there is to know about Beyoncé, but the young fan will definitely love learning about her through both the text and the photographs in this book. The layout is very appealing with loads of pictures and informative sidebars. For example, one says “guess what Jay-Z bought Bee for her twenty-fifth birthday? A 1959 Rolls-Royce! The car was worth about $1 million.” In the back of the book is an index, source notes, a little bonus picture section, and additional book and website resources to explore.

Quill says: If you want to find out about hot R & B superstar Beyoncé, you're going to love reading this book!