Book Review: The 5 O’Clock Band


The 5 O’Clock Band
By: Troy Andrews
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Reviewer: Mary Lanni

Music is the focal point of life in New Orleans; for one boy growing up in the neighborhood of Tremé, it is the heart of his life, as well. Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews guides the reader through the story of a day in his life as a young musician in this autobiographical companion to his 2015 book, Trombone Shorty. Every day after homework is done, Shorty and his friends meet to play music and parade around their neighborhood in keeping with a tradition that has been practiced for over one hundred years. One day, however, Shorty loses track of time while practicing alone and misses their 5 o’clock rendezvous. Beside himself, he navigates his neighborhood trying to catch up to them, encountering important figures in his life who tell him the things he needs to be a successful band leader. Similar to A Christmas Carol, Shorty takes these words of wisdom to heart and improves himself from then on. Colorful, vibrant illustrations adorn each page, bringing the sights, sounds, and smells of New Orleans into the reader’s mind. Author’s and illustrator’s notes at the back of the book provide more history and backstory to accompany the main text, introducing the reader to the Trombone Shorty Foundation and how it is working to keep the music tradition alive in New Orleans. This book is a necessary accompaniment to autobiographical library collections for elementary school students.

Children’s Literature is a division of CLCD, LLC.

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