Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm is a true story about an integrated all-female music band that were known as the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. They came into fame during the 1940s in the United States, and faced discrimination on their way to the top.
The book tells of how the sisters went to a special home for African-American orphans in Mississippi called Piney Woods Country Life School. They excelled in music at the school and played in a band that performed for churches and schools, until they branched out on their own to become part of an interracial band known as the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. They traveled in Europe and played for American soldiers overseas, and broke records set by big-bands of the time.
While Swing Sisters is a children’s picture book packaged for kids, the content seems better suited for older children ages 10 and up, as the book reads very much like a Wikipedia biography. However, thanks to the exceptional illustrations, the characters do exude joy, and young children may better enjoy the book more as a source for a school book report or other project rather than as a bedtime story.
Overall, Swing Sisters is an excellent book! It is incredibly informative, equipped with a bibliography; which is helpful for readers who may want to do their own personal research to learn more about the group. It is an excellent read for Women’s History Month, and is a great book that gives inspiration to older children who aspire to be musicians.